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Holiday Aromatherapy -- Simmering Spices for your Kitchen

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

One in 20 people considers Christmas shopping more stressful than divorce or burglary. How sad is that!

I’ll admit I mostly hate shopping. I’m one of those rare women who doesn’t want to browse. If I need something I go get it. My husband calls me a destination shopper. That means I know what I want. I go to the store, I walk in and go ...Read more

Fireside Shrimp Dip

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

I held a potluck dinner party recently. It was my first potluck in decades.

Years ago, I got turned off by potlucks. The last ones I attended didn’t work very well. No one did anything to organize what people brought so when you went through the line, got your food and sat down to eat, ...Read more

Cincinnati Chili

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Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

It's the Chili Chowdown

Chile is the pepper. Chili is the concoction.

And now that we’ve got that straight, let’s talk chili. It’s chilly outside these days so now’s a perfect time.

The history of chili is long and varied. Even the International Chili Society debates the ...Read more

Creamy Leek and Onion Casserole

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Turkey Tips

Most people think the Thanksgiving turkey dinner is the most intimidating meal to make. I never understood that.

For Thanksgiving, there was always a crowd at my childhood home. At least a dozen people, often more. My mother would get the biggest turkey she could buy, probably 25 pounds or so. It would barely fit in the oven...Read more

Caramelized Leek Mashed Potatoes

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Hints for Eating Mashed Potatoes on Holidays

When my husband and I are invited to Thanksgiving dinner he insists I bring mashed potatoes. He has to make sure there will be at least one bowl of mashed potatoes on the buffet. Borderline rude. I know, but he insists.

I want to give you low carb hints for eating mashed potatoes...

...Read more

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

Gone are the days when I would regularly pull out my big food processor, or my massive mixer, or my mondo blender that could mix up 12 cups of liquid in an instant. Even my bread maker is gone. I’ve kept my food processor and massive mixer but I hardly ever use them anymore. I use a small, ...Read more

Cranberry Relish Zolafied

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

What to Buy and When

This year I am really paying attention to food prices and availability.Thanksgiving is right around the corner and holiday food conversation is all the buzz.

One good piece of news is this year there is a bumper crop of cranberries! Yahoo! I am from Wisconsin.

...Read more

Pumpkin Spiced Pecans

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic...

Many of you already know I am Irish. My “23 and Me Report” says I’m 92.6 percent Irish. Now, THAT is a LOT of Irish.

As an adult my favorite holiday became Halloween. My husband and I used to have huge Halloween parties. There’d be 70 to 100 people in attendance. We’d have a DJ ...Read more

Halloween Treats

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Enjoy this previously published Zola classic...

My husband and I have always enjoyed Halloween. Years ago I declared it my favorite holiday. I like Halloween more than Christmas.

Early in our relationship my husband and I decided to celebrate the Trick-or-Treaters....Read more

Broiled Provolone with Italian Herbs and Crackers

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My Cooking Mentor

My mother would have turned 101 this year. I still miss her although she’s been gone for decades.

At parties, people often asked my mother if she taught me to cook. “Not like this”, she’d say. What she meant was she never taught me to be a gourmet cook. She never had the time or the audience to consume the ...Read more

Peanut Butter Dream

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

The number of sweeteners designed to replace sugar is growing by the day.  It can make you dizzy standing in the grocery store in front of the sweetener options.  At last count one sugar blogger counted over 160.  I can’t even keep up.

I keep it simple and use just a few but I am always...Read more

Hot Wing Dip

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When microwave ovens were a new “thing” I remember being invited to a dinner party.

It was an informal party. It was one of those where everyone stood around talking in the hostess’ kitchen. No one was dressed up. It was a weeknight affair.

The thing I remember most was observing the hostess as she prepared dinner.

She was using her new...Read more

Bacon Wrapped Prunes

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

This week my husband and I will be celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary.

How will we celebrate it? We don’t even know yet. I thought about a trip, but we just got back from one.

This anniversary thing got me thinking back to our 9th wedding anniversary.

For our 9th anniversary, I was stumped on what to give him as a gift. I looked up ...Read more

Creamed Orzo with Leeks and Parmesan

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Have you heard about the spotless giraffe!

Yep, that’s right. She was born a couple of months ago in Limestone, TN. She’s already 6’ tall of gorgeous. I was on my North Carolina mountain vacation when we heard about her. She made the NY Times, The Today Show, and about every other news outlet you can think of. She’s big news.

This type...Read more

Thai Chicken

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

It’s funny how trends change.

In the 1950’s, you could not watch a movie without seeing just about every character in it smoking a cigarette. In the 1960’s, most sales were done over a 3 martini lunch. Very few now. That’s pretty much frowned upon.

Most trend changes like these are...Read more

Apple Chips

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!


While developing Plan Z, I never really thought much about what I now call the Crunch Factor. I was never the kid in our family that face-planted in the bag of potato chips. I left that to my brothers. I went for the donuts.

I never wanted to eat the hard candy. I’d rather have a...Read more

Shrimp in a French Lemon White Wine Cream Sauce

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Editor's Note: Enjoy this previously published Zola classic!

The "Hummers"

The hummingbirds visiting my balcony have been the highlight of my summer.

Then “POOF”. They are gone!

Hummingbirds (also known for their nickname “hummers”), gorge themselves in order to double their weight before they take off for the tropics....Read more

Creamy Tomato Skillet Salmon

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When I was in my thirties, I vowed I would never eat my dinner before 7 p.m. I thought that was more sophisticated and I didn’t understand the idea of an early bird special. That was totally alien. That was for the very old. My goal was to be a big-city woman and eat at a civilized hour and 7 p.m. or later was civilized. It meant you had grown...Read more



Peanuts Monte Wolverton John Deering Red and Rover Andy Capp The Other Coast