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Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When I was little, I attended a Catholic grade school. I learned about St. Nicholas Day from the nuns. I brought my new-found knowledge home to my mom and she went right along with it.

I was really into gifts (still am), so when the nuns told me you were supposed to put your shoes by the front door and gifts would appear the next morning, I was...Read more

The Easiest Chocolate Mousse on the Planet

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

People want to know how to keep from gaining the 6 – 7 pounds many do at the holidays. If you are determined not to gain weight over the holidays, this is how to do it:

1. Scope out the buffet.

Rather than just taking one thing after another, peruse the whole buffet first. Walk end to end. Count the options that are actually low carb and ...Read more

The Richest Mashed Potatoes

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My childhood Monday dinner went like this:

Mom would set my plate of food in front of me. Every Monday we had the same meal…baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and a veggie. Usually, the veggie was peas.

Once mom gave me my Monday meal, my first move was to dig a hole in my mashed potatoes and push in a pat of butter. I was raised in Wisconsin ...Read more

Eggnog Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Crust

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Whether you’re on Plan Z (or any other diet), the holidays can be difficult. Even if you have solid discipline, your relatives and friends can try to sabotage you. Most of us don’t have great discipline, so a combination of both can be fatal to dieting success.

I’m going to get right to the list of options that I have found successful in ...Read more

Weeknight Chicken Casserole

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

It seems logical to think that stopping somewhere on the way home and buying a pre-prepared dinner would be more expensive than making it at home. But by how much? And does it save you time?

I got a bug in my ear on this subject and decided to do a little research.

I went to the Boston Market website to make my comparison. Now, I’m not ...Read more

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

I like Halloween more than Christmas. My husband and I used to have huge celebrations on Halloween. We’d throw a costume party and would invite friends over for food and drinks. Although we no longer have parties on Halloween, it is still my favorite holiday.

Apparently we’re not the only adults who get excited about Halloween. Statistics ...Read more

Pumpkin Cake

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

At about age 35 I decided that Halloween was my favorite holiday. We started having Halloween parties and things just took off. It was almost scary.

Whichever Saturday was closest to Halloween became the night of the Halloween party. Written invitations went out a month ahead. The RSVP’s came in. Usually there were at least 60 to 70 people in...Read more

Pumpkin Icebox Pie

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

I think you all know I live in Illinois. Specifically, I live in Chicago, but there is a lot of Illinois to the south and even a bit to the north of Chicago.

Today I want to talk about pumpkin production in Illinois. It is October. Pumpkin time.

I pulled a bunch of statistics from an article online that lays out the production of pumpkin in ...Read more

French Omelet

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When I was a young teen in the early 70s, I can remember coming to breakfast one morning and my father was sitting at the end of the table crabbing about his breakfast.

My father had eaten the same thing for breakfast for decades. Two poached eggs, two pieces of toast slathered with butter, and on many occasions, a couple of pieces of bacon.

...Read more

Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Her name was Gloria. My first and only hurricane experience.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes Hurricane Gloria:

Hurricane Gloria was the first significant system to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. It was a ...Read more

Mexican Chicken Salad

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

We survey Plan Z dieters on occasion and ask them all kinds of questions. In a recent survey, we asked them the biggest reason they decided to go on a diet and chose Plan Z. You know what the most popular answer was? I, for one, was surprised by the answer.

The answer was, “I could not stand the pain any longer.”

My hips hurt.
My ...Read more

Beefy Chili with Roasted Poblanos

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Something hit the national news this week that really rankled me.

Major news networks reported that a researcher in the UK who has been studying Type 2 diabetes for over two decades has announced he has a cure.

This guy says he has a cure for Type 2 Diabetes. Yep.

Well, so do I, but I’m not allowed to advertise that fact because I sell a ...Read more

Beefy No-Noodle Lasagna

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

I have to tell you I am reluctant to have this discussion. In the four years I’ve worked to develop Plan Z, I have never brought up the subject of bread and baked goods. I felt like if I ignored the subject it would not come up. Instead, I spent a lot of time laying down the framework for the fact that you don’t need bread, donuts or ...Read more

Easy Gazpacho

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

While you are reading this, I’ll be on vacation.

Why? Because I love to exit the big city after Labor Day.

And why after Labor Day? So many reasons.

Historically, my husband and I were involved in a conference that took place the last weekend of August in Toronto. We were both required to be in Toronto for about five days and then we’d ...Read more

Almond Snickerdoodles

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When I was in grade school my brother and I would walk home together each day. When we got home from school we’d drop our books on the dining room table and have a snack.

Most of the time, I’d do my snacking in the kitchen. I’d go to the pantry and pick up a donut or a pastry my mother had gotten at the bakery. I’d wash that down with a...Read more

Macadamia Nut Crusted Fish

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Editor's Note: We think you'll enjoy this previously published Zola classic...

I’m sort of the magazine and internet reader in the family. My husband, on the other hand, devours books.

He told me about a book. I investigated. I was immensely impressed, so today is “Book Report Day.”

I am so excited about this book, (I am not even...Read more


Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

It was late afternoon. I was at the grocery store picking up a few items to make dinner.

I passed two women greeting each other. One of them had a young daughter in tow. The girl was maybe 7 years old. The moms were maybe in their late 30s.

We were all in the dairy section; the area with the big refrigerators full of milk and cream. The ladies...Read more


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