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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

Veggie Drawer Quiche

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My 10 Days in the Insane Asylum

The day it accepted its first 39 patients, it was known as the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum. (Today, of course, we’d call it a mental health facility but back then they used the term “insane asylum.”)

That was 1885.

In those days, there were a myriad of reasons someone might spend time at the ...Read more

Au Jus

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

On most Friday nights in the early 1960’s, my brother and I would pile in the car with my mom and go to the train station.

Daddy was coming home and we were there to meet the train he was riding on.

Some nights were cold and some were blissfully summer-like. Most of the time it was late enough that it was dark outside. We could watch the red...Read more

Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

If there were such a thing as an Appliance Graveyard, mine would have plenty of headstones. I have gotten rid of quite a few appliances that used to take up lots of space in my cupboards.

Good news is I didn’t bury those appliances in my back yard like some kind of pet cemetery. I gave them away or donated them.

But why did I get rid of them...Read more

Antipasti Ideas And Italian Shrimp Cocktail

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The definition of Antipasti:

An appetizer usually consisting of an assortment of foods, such as smoked meats, cheese, fish, and vegetables.

Sounds like a low-carb platter of perfection, doesn’t it?

Here are some basic but tasty ideas of what you could include in an antipasti tray:

Smoked meats – visit a smokehouse cool options like ...Read more

Baked Kale or Swiss Chard Chips

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My mom never had trouble getting me to eat my vegetables; except those times when she served lima beans. I hated lima beans. I thought they were so disgusting to chew, that I’d swallow them like pills. I flushed them down with milk. My family believed in the “Clean Plate Club.” You didn’t leave the table without eating everything on your...Read more

Mashed Cauliflower

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Small Town 4th of July...

Flash back, if you can, to 1965.

John Glenn had circled the Earth in Friendship 7 but we had not yet made it to the moon.

The Beatles were in full swing and had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show the year before.

Vietnam was being mentioned in the newspaper but we were not yet subjected to a daily listing of...Read more

Raspberry Gelee

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The True Cost of a Lightbulb

The joke goes like this: “How many people does it take to change a light bulb?”

The answer is long as that person isn’t me.

If it’s me, apparently there are risks.

So, it’s a Tuesday night. The light in the vent hood above my stove hood has gone out. I decide it’s time to change it. I ...Read more


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