Blueberry-Pecan Crisp

The blueberries this summer are so sweet and juicy, and I’m thrilled that they aren’t expensive either. The other day, I decided to make a simple Blueberry Crisp from a recipe my friends, Nancy and Lissa, sent me. When I put the photo on Facebook, everyone was begging for the recipe. It’s terrific served on its own or with a scoop of low-fat yogurt or ice cream. Happy July 4th week everyone! Enjoy and be safe!

Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

When my daughter, Leigh, was bored the other day, I said, “Let’s make some muffins”. We had an abundance of blueberries on hand and came up with this healthier version of Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt. Leigh is 13 years old, and she made this entire recipe on her own. I photographed this picture, but I told her that she just may have a summer internship. Anyway, this is the first of several of her creations coming soon that she made under my (very little) direction. They do taste as good as they look. We started with a dozen, and the next morning there were only 3 left 🙂

Travel Tuesday: Spinach Quinoa from Westside Market NYC

This recipe from comes from the Westside Market NYC, a top market in New York, which has been in business for almost 50 years. Their market has seen a rise in the number of people purchasing quinoa at their four locations. Quinoa’s health benefits include it being a gluten free grain, boosting brain power and having high levels of iron and calcium. Maria Zoitas, wife of Westside Market’s founder John Zoitas, the creator of the “made by Maria” line of prepared foods at the market. Here is one of Maria’s healthy creations.

About Westside Market NYC:

Established in 1965, Westside Market NYC has been deeply engrained in the fabric of Manhattan’s Upper Westside life. A rare find in the food market business, Westside Market NYC is family owned and operated in the truest sense. Born and raised on a farm in Roupakia, a village on the island of Lefkada, Greece, John Zoitas arrived in the U.S. from Greece more than 45 years ago. He brought with him a love of fresh-grown produce, authentic cooking, and a steadfast commitment to service and quality. Each of our locations enjoys a remarkably loyal following, which is no surprise; it’s a direct result of the fact that the Zoitas family takes great pride in every aspect of their business. Under the tutelage of his father John, George Zoitas has taken the reigns of Westside Market NYC and made it into the premier market it is today. Our mission is simple: to become your favorite neighborhood food market and caterer of choice by offering the highest quality foods and hard-to-find products supported by friendly, personalized, efficient service. Discover Westside Market NYC, and experience the difference! For more information visit www.wmarketnyc.com

Travel Tuesday: Spa Hot List: Sandpearl Resort’s Spa in Clearwater

“The true purpose of recreation should be not merely to amuse, not merely to afford pleasure not merely to kill time, but to increase fitness, enhance our usefulness, spur achievement.  Any form of recreation that impairs either physical or mental efficiency, does not recreate. Real recreation quickens aspiration.” B.C Forbes (from the spa at Sandpearl Resort)

Recently, I had the amazing pleasure to head to Clearwater, Florida to the Sandpearl Resort. It was my first time in Clearwater and at the Sandpearl, and it definitely won’t be the last.

Before I arrived, I studied up on the Sandpearl Resort’s Spa menu for quite some time. So many of their services intrigued me such as water therapies, touch therapies and even their spa kids services. Lucky for me, I had the pleasure of meeting the inspiring Spa Director, Maureen Vipperman. Her wisdom in health and wellness was passionate and on the cutting edge. I loved listening to her, and I knew this resort and spa is one that needs to be seen and heard.

From restorative treatments, water massage therapies and special indulgences, this spa’s menu has it all and is done to its finest. Maureen suggested I try a treatment off the “mind, body, spirit” menu called “Clear Mind” after I told her about my mom being ill. It started with my feet being soaked and rubbed in an olive paste followed by a refreshing yet soothing experience for my mind, body and soul.

Before my treatment, the massage therapist told me to choose from a bucket of pebbles. She told me that each one had a word on the back side of the pebble, and I could look at it and keep it after the treatment is completed. Mine said “healing” which I thought was so ironic (given my situation at home). As many of you know, my mom passed away, and I have been carrying it around ever since.

While the timing of this trip was difficult for me personally, I am so glad I had the chance to experience the Sandpearl Resort. I can’t say enough about this destination. I can’t wait to go back and take my kids. They will love the beautiful beaches filled with beautiful sea shells everywhere. I have to take my my daughter, Leigh, for an “Ice Cream Pedicure”, try the “sunrise yoga”, hang with the kids at “Family S’mores Night”, indulge in the spa again, and take a walk on the beach. This is a fabulous couples or family getaway, just a short drive from the Tampa airport. Check out the Sandpearl Resort out as soon as you can. It’s currently on my “Hot List”.