February 2014 Archives

Just Desserts

Luscious Double Lemon Cake

By Charlotte on February 28, 2014 1:30 AM | Read More

A few weeks ago, I whipped up some delightful Red Velvet Mug Cakes. Talk about speedy! Those perfect-for-two morsels were ready in less than 6 minutes because you cook them in the microwave.

I couldn't wait to try another quick mug recipe. So I was thrilled to find this single-serving, spring sensation in Camilla V. Saulsbury's 250 Best Meals in a Mug (Robert Rose Inc., Jan. 16, 2014, $24.95). Superfast and easy, this tart lemon treat packs a zing sure to please any citrus fan.

This moist, chewy mug cake bursts with lemon flavor.

DoubleLemonCakeMealsMug 600.jpgFresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest enhance the taste. (Figure one lemon per mug cake.) All the other ingredients are pretty basic so it's a great spur-of-the-moment dessert option.

This mug cake gets its zing from fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. Figure one lemon per mug cake.

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Playing Favorites

Not So Playing Favorites

By Bob on February 27, 2014 4:23 AM | Read More

We usually tell you about things we looove in this column. This is not one of those times. Today I'm outing a couple of real stinkers masquerading as great entertainment so you can hopefully avoid them and not repeat our mistakes.

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Daily Distraction

Are You My New Daddy?

By Bob on February 25, 2014 2:57 AM | Read More

'cause the last one was a pane in the glass.

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Why Weight?

4 Secrets for a Longer Life

By Bob on February 19, 2014 11:59 AM | Read More

I've known people who want to live forever. Me? Not so much. I just want to live to a ripe old age and be healthy enough to enjoy it. As a cancer survivor, I can tell you that, at least for me, age isn't the goal. Good health that allows me to enjoy my age - whatever it is - is what it's all about.

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Daily Distraction

Prescription for Laughter

By Bob on February 18, 2014 2:52 AM | Read More

I've known some people who talked out of this orifice...

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Don't Try This At Home

Eye Can See Clearly (Sort of) Now

By Bob on February 17, 2014 4:59 AM | Read More

One of the things that suck are great about reaching a "certain age" is getting to do all the fun procedures that come along with it. What kind of procedures you might ask? I dunno, really cool stuff like colonoscopies...yeah they're a blast. 

And by blast, I mean the fact that the prep turns your pooper into a cannon worthy of WMD status. How is it that we put Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969, but still haven't figured out a better way to clean a colon **shakes fist at computer monitor**. 

Sorry, the 13-year-old in me is still laughing at being able to say "poop" on the World Wide Web. I'll be back in a minute.

Laser Eyes: Worth every damn cent...Laser eyes-552.jpg

About two weeks ago I decided to do one of those "elective" procedures, because my eyesight had gotten to the point where I didn't really see things. I just wandered around our house like a drunken version of Roomba and bounced off immovable objects. Sometimes Charlotte was one of those objects and she was starting to complain.

So...I called up the local laser eye specialist and scheduled an appointment to get me some LASER EYES. The nice folks explained the procedure and assured me the only pain I'd feel was the money being sucked from my HSA MasterCard. SPOILER ALERT: That part IS painful and they do not give you a Valium before they run your card even if you ask nicely. 

Would you like extra gravy with that?Eye 1-300.jpg

Laser eye surgery is a pretty common procedure these days and I'd put it off as long as I could. From the patient point of view, the surgery is simple.

The surgeon takes your money (remember, this is WITHOUT applying Valium); they put you in a blue mesh cap that reminds you of your grade school cafeteria; and blue mesh "booties" (nobody knows why). 

Please take your Valium now 


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Comfort Corner

Comfort Corner: Spicy Southern Fried Chicken

By Charlotte on February 14, 2014 1:27 AM | Read More

Growing up in Texas, I ate fried chicken regularly. It was a favorite at family get-togethers and a special treat when served by my working mom during the week. She'd buy a whole bird, cut it into pieces (a trick I've yet to master) and always save the wish bone for the pickiest eater (woops, that was me!)

These days, frying is off the table at our house most of the time because Bob and I have to think about our waistlines. But every now and then, I like to give my iron skillet a workout. That's one reason I wanted to fix this lightly battered delight from Junior's Home Cooking (Taunton Press, October 2013, $24.95).

 Using cornmeal in the breading gives this fried chicken a delicious golden color and crunch.

Ready to Eat-600.jpg


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Guest Room

Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy After 50

By Charlotte on February 12, 2014 1:20 AM | Read More

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C.

How do you eat for a healthy heart when there are so many different ways to eat, so many different diets and so many opinions? As an integrative cardiologist who emphasizes the healing power of food, I have been asked that question many times. My answer is based on what I've learned over nearly four decades in a medical practice dedicated to optimum health as well as what I've learned in the kitchen as an avid cook.

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Daily Distraction

Dora the Explorer May Have a New Gig

By Bob on February 11, 2014 2:48 AM | Read More

It's always the quiet ones who surprise you.

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In the Mirror

In the Mirror: Aveeno Positively Ageless

By Charlotte on February 9, 2014 1:44 AM | Read More

In January, I hosted a simple dinner for the lovely ladies in my Bunco group. The 12 of us have been meeting monthly for about 20 years. In the beginning, we played the dice game that brought us together religiously. These days, there's really no time for that because we're busy discussing the joys (our children and grandchildren), challenges (divorce and health scares) ... every detail of our lives.

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Here's the Dish

No-Fuss Spaghetti with Crushed Red Pepper and Pecorino Cheese

By Charlotte on February 7, 2014 1:09 AM | Read More

Sometimes, simple is better. Bob and I became convinced of that in Italy, where we fell in love with basic pasta dishes featuring Pecorino cheese. There we ordered pasta, pizza, anything with Pecorino at most meals because this sharper, saltier cousin of Parmesan packs such a nice zing.

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Playing Favorites

House of Cards

By Bob on February 6, 2014 3:57 AM | Read More

House of Cards, Netflix' entry into original programming, is a terrific indie drama I overlooked when it debuted over a year ago.

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Daily Distraction

I Wouldn't Park Here If I Was You

By Bob on February 4, 2014 2:39 AM | Read More


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Don't Try This At Home

6 Songs You Need for Valentine's Day

By Bob on February 3, 2014 2:08 AM | Read More

I'll admit that I'm not the most romantic person on the planet (Charlotte would be the second person to tell you that). Not really big on hugs. Kiss hello? NMD. It's not that I have anything against these things. They're just not part of my romantic DNA. 

That doesn't mean I don't like romantic songs. Oh HELL no. There are some terrific ones that Charlotte and I both love. We've chronicled our (almost 36 years) life together with a soundtrack that ranges from Cole Porter to The Shins. 

So, with Valentine's Day almost on top of us (great metaphor for the #1 sex holiday of the year AMIRITE?), I'm offering up a Baby Boomer V'Day Playlist to get you in the mood. If at least ONE of these songs isn't on your playlist, then Dude, you're a bigger curmudgeon that me. And you don't really want to go there, do you? 

The Boomer Brief Valentine's Day Playlist  Stevie Nicks-600.jpg

1. Silver Springs - Fleetwood Mac

Nobody belts out a rock ballad better than Stevie Nicks and this is one of her best. Charlotte insists we play it every time we watch our Fleetwood Mac DVD.

2. I'm Still In Love With You - Al Green
Every Valentine's Day playlist has to have at least one Al Green song. It's in my contract with the WBF (World Blogging Federation).



If I make it anywhere near the pearly gates, I bet the angels sound a whole lot like... 

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In the Mirror

Terrific Treatments for Toughening Your Tresses

By Charlotte on February 2, 2014 1:33 AM | Read More

Going gray is the least of my worries. At 56 (practically 57, yikes!), my once-blonde hair has gotten darker with no trace of silver just yet. It came back brown after a life-saving double mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy in 2009 ... but that's another story.

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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