Archives for the month of: February, 2018


Whether you’re cooking for yourself or an extended family, Karrie Truman’s “Seriously Good Freezer Meals” ( can have you enjoying fresh and delicious homecooked meals every night rather than tasteless microwave dishes and unhealthy fast foods.

Truman offers an array of internationally-inspired recipes that can be prepared ahead of time in batches ranging from 6 to 30 servings, then frozen to enjoy in the weeks and months ahead. The 150 recipes include Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops, Peanut Perfection Pad Thai, Chicken Pesto Parmesan Shells, White Bean Chicken Chili, along with an array of desserts, side dishes and breakfast offerings. The intial chapter provides a valuable ABC of freezer knowledge, including the right packaging techniques and suggestions for making a smart freezer purchase.Why not stock your freezer with nutritious meals you made yourself rather than expensive packaged foods lacking in either taste or nutrition?

“Seriously Good Freezer Meals” by Karrie Truman – Gotta Love It!


Chopped Teen Grand Champion Kid Chef Eliana does an excellent job of getting other kids excited about cooking in her “Cool Kids Cook Louisiana” (

If you’re looking for an activity that your children can enjoy indoors together that will give them a skill that will last a lifetime, this book provides it.  There are a wide array of user-friendly recipes from Eliana’s Cajun Louisiana heritage, including Red Beans & Rice, Jambalaya, Skillet Cornbread and Sweet Potato Casserole. Cool Kids Cook is the perfect way to get kids away from their electronic devices while teaching them to use their creativity and imagination to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.

Cool Kids Cook Louisiana by Kid Chef Eliana, with Dianne de Las Casas, Illustrated by Soleil Lisette – Gotta Love it!


“Army Camels Texas Ships of the Desert” by Doris Fisher, illustrated by Julie Dupre Buckner ( offers younger readers an exciting look at how camels imported from Africa in the mid 19th century became an integral part of U.S. Army operations in Texas.

This beautifully illustrated story keeps readers engaged from beginning to end and makes history come alive. It’s a well-told tale that shows how creativity, ingenuity and cooperation between man and the animal kingdom can work wonders.

“Army Camels Texas Ships of the Desert” by Doris Fisher – Gotta Love It!


Tammy Wynette was a Country Music legend who left us all too soon, but this paperback edition of her popular 1990 cookbook reminds us  that her talents stretched far beyond the entertainment world.

The Tammy Wynette Southern Cookbook (  is a wonderful collection of 279 recipes for her favorite comfort foods, ranging from Spinach Pie , Sweet Potato Casserole and Salmon Patties to Sour Cream Pound Cake and Banana Pudding. Many of the notations accompany each recipe recall which family member shared it with her, along with remembrances of kitchen-days and family celebrations past. If you love good and hearty comfort food dishes, this is a cookbook to help you savor life’s simpler pleasures of good food and good company.

The Tammy Wynette Southern Cookbook – Gotta Love It!


Nobody who enjoys home cooking wants to waste valuable time or money having cakes flop, broiled fish come out dry or experience any of the other hundreds of cooking problems that can land supper in the trash bin rather than your plate.

The Cook’s Problem Solver by Helen Kowtaluk ( offers the home chef at any level of expertise a wide-ranging reference book that quickly answers 500 of the most common cooking questions and provides quick and easy solutions. Whether your pears won’t ripen, your haddock is overcooked, or your egg white merinque doesn’t peak,  this guide offers an explanation as to what’s happening and how to prevent it. The Cook’s Problem Solver  is a worthy addition to any home culinary library and provides an easy way to search for a multitude of solutions to kitchen disappointments so they don’t enjoy a repeat performance.

The Cook’s Problem Solver by Helen Kowtaluk – Gotta Love It!


Even if you don’t have a Valentine today, it’s still a great day to celebrate love, friendship and having a happy heart!

Sparkling Ice Strawberry Lemonade ( is the perfect sugar-free, caffeine-free all natural sparkling water to use today as an ingredient in creating both alcoholic and virgin cocktails that are in the pink for V-day!  It has a sweet-tart flavor that is a lot like the highs and lows of every true romance and tastes great right from the bottle after chilling, served on the rocks, or combined with gin or vodka and garnished with a lemon wheel for the perfect Happy Hearts Cocktail.  It’s also a great beverage choice for children’s parties since they won’t get a sugar high from drinking it and they love its beautiful color!

Sparkling Ice Strawberry Lemonade – Gotta Love It!

mardi gras

February 13th celebrates Fat Tuesday this year, the culmination of Mardi Gras, or the Carnival in New Orleans. Even if you can’t be there in person this year, artist Andrea Mistretta has collected her amazing annual colorful posters in a book called “Mardi Gras Parade of Posters”  from Pelican Publishing Company. (

The more than two dozen vibrant illustrations featured in this volume represent a combination of imagination and fantasy, presented in an eye-catching explosion of color.  The book also contains a chapter in which the artist illustrates the painstaking and loving process she uses to create her annual works of art that celebrate  Mardi Gras and its philosophy of “letting the good times roll.”

“Mardi Gras Parade of Posters” by Andrea Mistretta – Gotta Love It!


If you want a special treat for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day or any other morning, check out the croissant selection available from Williams-Sonoma (

These ship to you ready for baking and with a little time (at least 9 hours overnight for proofing) and a little effort (15 minutes bake time after brushing with an egg wash), your reward will be heavenly delicious and puffy freshly baked croissants that rival anything you can get at your local fast food or bakery establishment. Add a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea and you have a treat guaranteed to get your day off to a delicious start! Choose from traditional, almond-filled (our favorite), dark chocolate or mini croissants that can be stored in the freezer for future enjoyment.

Williams-Sonoma plain or filled Croissants – Gotta Love It!


If you are out and about this weekend, steer your car in the direction of your favorite local bookstore and pick up a copy of Michael Turback’s wonderful “What A Swell Party It Was! (

Turback takes the reader on a delightful trip back in time to more than two dozen glittering establishments where the fun and entertaining was always top-notch, and the menus and service always memorable. Get a historical snapshot of such glamorous places as Chicago’s Blackhawk, Los Angeles’ Coconut Grove, New York’s Rainbow Room and Stork Club, and Hollywood’s Mocambo and Florentine Gardens. Four recipes you can recreate at home are included for each nightclub, covering signature cocktails, main courses, appetizers and desserts. This book is a must-have guide to a time when people really knew how to throw a great party!

“What A Swell Party It Was!” by Michael Turback – Gotta Love It!

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When creating cocktails for you and your sweetie on Valentine’s Day this year, stock your bar with bottles of Beetology in assorted flavors ( as the perfect cocktail mixer.

Beetology is crisp and refreshing cold-pressed beet juice, featuring pure beet juice combined with vegetables, tropical fruits, berries, cherries, or tart lemon and ginger. Whether you are creating sangria, a pina colada, a cosmopolitan or a margarita, you can use Beetology juice as a key ingredient for added nutrition, beautiful color and super flavor.  And if you are between Valentines this season, why not be good to yourself and enjoy the Beetology cocktail of your choice or simply pour on the rocks and savor this nutrient dense organic juice.

Pictured above is the Beetology Zinger 

3 oz. Beetology Beet + Lemon + Ginger

1.5 oz. Gin

Candied ginger and lemon peel garnish



Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Beetology and gin.

Shake until chilled, strain and garnish with a lemon peel and candied ginger.

Beetology in Valentine’s Day Cocktails – Gotta Love It!