Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Betty Jo Schuler

Have you planted your Spring garden yet?  Lots of good eating from the season…and some of it is ready to pick and eat 

I’ve always loved reading and can lose myself in a good book.  I got my first bee sting when I was a preteen sitting in a porch rocker and a pesky ‘fly’ kept bothering me and I kept swatting at it.  Yeow!  I still read a lot but open my eyes to buzzing sounds.

Another passion of mine is collecting recipes and preparing new dishes.  There were a lot of steps between the book and the bee and the book I wrote that launched my new career. 
My husband and I self-published it (an adventure in itself), had it printed and sent out flyers.  Creative Dieting, reviewed by a major tabloid, sparked a lot of interest and assignments for other publications. It was a science to write an appealing seven day diet with the exact calories and fat but I loved doing it. Then after a few years, Healthy Foods took center stage and the word “diets” almost disappeared, taking the fun and challenge out of writing them.
However, I still love recipes and I’d like to share them with you.

One of my favorites. 

CARAMELIZED BROILED ASPARAGUS   This great recipe caramelizes the sugar of the asparagus and really brings out its sweetness. Ez-Peeze to prepare.
1 pound asparagus (thicker spears)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
Preheat broiler.
On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the oil and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper to coat. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer and broil 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the baking sheet occasionally until the spears are tender and slightly charred.

OVERNIGHT SALAD (So handy for picnics and potlucks)
½ lb. bacon
1 head cauliflower
1 head lettuce
1 C. Mayo
¼ cup sugar
2 or 3 green onions
Salt, pepper, grated Parmesan
Clean vegetables. Break cauliflower into small pieces. (I mostly remove the hard stem part.)  Cut up lettuce and green onions. Toss (no dressing yet).
Microwave the bacon. Break into bits.
Mix sugar and mayo (or Miracle Whip). Spread across the top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, grated Parmesan, and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for the next day. Toss when ready to serve.
CUCUMBERS IN SOUR CREAM (refreshing side dish)
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
½ C. dairy sour cream
1 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar
½ tsp. salt
            Combine cucumbers and onion.  Stir together sour cream, sugar, salt, and vinegar.  Toss with vegetables.  Cover and chill, stirring occasionally.  Makes 3 cups.  (I like to use red wine vinegar and fat-free or “light” sour cream.)  Enjoy!

½ C. chopped green onions with tops
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups shelled peas or 10 oz. pkg. frozen
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp salt and ¼ C dried rosemary, crushed
Cook onion in butter till tender. Add peas and rest of ingredients plus 1 Tbsp. water. Cover and cook till peas are just tender (10 to 12 mins)., adding a little more water if needed. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon twist.

So here’s one more dish that you might want to make for company…
LETTUCE WRAPS OR CUPS   So versatile and less calories than burritos, they’ve become quite popular. This is a recipe my sister-in-law used to serve with Fritos for dipping. But you can serve it over lettuce and it’s more like a main dish.  I like shredded lettuce.  There are so many types of lettuce and then there’s spinach and other kinds of greens.  If you need help distinguishing between them, ask the produce manager.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.
½ C minced celery
¼ C. minced onion
2 big dill pickles, minced (or sweet if you prefer)
½ C. sour cream (regular or fat-free)
½ C. mayo or mayo-type salad dressing
Salt, pepper, dash sugar
Dash of dill pickle juice  

            Cook chicken and cool.  Process or grind chicken, celery, onion, and pickle.  Mix sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, and sugar together, then stir into the chicken mixture. Chill for several hours so flavors blend.  (I use fat-free sour cream and fat-free Miracle Whip in this recipe and it tastes delicious. (I just can’t ditch the diet director role. LOL)  

Male Wanted by Betty Jo Schuler

Taylor Gayle advertises in The Town Crier for a male to date, but Max Stuart misprints her ad to indicate she’s looking for a “sadomasochistic male to mate” and includes her address. To atone for his mistakes, Max becomes her live-in protector. Now, who’s going to protect this high school librarian from the unbelievably sexy newspaper editor? And who’s going to save Max from this feisty Plain Jane’s charms?
            IS your mouth watering YET?   Thanks for reading and “eating” with me. Betty Jo