Roasted Garlic Soup

Well, I’m sure you weren’t expecting to be home on a Wednesday but here you are. How about a nice Roasted Garlic soup recipe that will help boost your immune system & your mood! Keep everyone healthy & happy with this tasty soup!

Roasted Garlic Soup

Five entire bulbs of garlic roasted to perfection and incorporated in a creamy soup. You can stop at the puree stage, and refrigerate for up to one day before adding the cream and lemon juice.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic, Gluten Free, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Grandma Antionette


  • 5 bulbs garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 4 leeks chopped
  • 2 medium onion chopped
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Gluten free to make it GF
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
  • cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives Optional


  • Cut off top 1/4 inch of each garlic head. Place in a small, shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release. Chop garlic.
  • Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks, and onion; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot broth and sherry and oregano. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  • Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to saucepan, and add cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with chives.


Looking for something fun to enjoy with the kids or grandkids this winter break? We’ve found a bunch of local places and activities that the kids will love, with many specials available for the break!

Deer Park

Deer Park


Garden City
Flushing –

Lake Grove
Mt. Sinai

Port Jefferson  –
Port Washington
Riverhead –


Deer Park
Port Jefferson

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot yields a perfectly cooked squash—not mushy, but tender and holding its shape. Spaghetti squash is also a perfect base for so many sauces or just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese as a side dish. At the market, look for squash that are about 3 lbs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, Instant Pot, instapot, low carb, low fat, one dish meal, soy free, spaghetti squash, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 109kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 3 lb spaghetti squash halved
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper


  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
  • Pour 1 cup water in the Instant Pot. Place a wire metal steam rack in pot. Arrange cut halves of squash on top of the steam rack. Put minced garlic on the inside center of the halved spaghetti squash.
  • Cover Instant Pot, and fasten the lid. Lock and seal the steam valve.
  • Set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  • Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully release pressure by turning valve to VENT.
  • Remove lid, and, using tongs, drain accumulated liquid from squash halves. Using a fork, scrape out flesh into spaghetti-like strands in a bowl (should have 4 to 6 cups)
  • Add olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to squash and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup—A quick and easy way to make a classic French onion soup recipe in a power pressure cooker. Delicious every time!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: Chicken, Instant Pot, instapot
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 347kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 Large yellow onions — or Spanish onions halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic — minced about 2 teaspoons
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine — such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 cartons Beef Bone Broth 8.25-ounce cartons
  • 4 cups Beef Stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 12 slices small baguette — cut about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone Gruyère cheese — white cheddar fontina, and gouda, are also delicious


  • Turn the Instant Pot (or similar electric pressure cooker) to sauté. Add the butter and let melt. Once melted, add the onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until onions slightly soften and start to release liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons water. Cover and seal the Instant Pot, then set to cook on HIGH pressure (manual setting) for 20 minutes. Release pressure to vent immediately.
  • Remove the lid, then turn the Instant Pot back to sauté. Cook for 5 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates, then add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits that have collected on the bottom of the pot. Let simmer for 10 minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf.
  • Add the bone broth and stock. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the soup thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • For the bread topping: When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyère. Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, watching constantly towards the end so that the bread does not burn. Ladle the soup into bowls, then float the bread on top. Enjoy! Alternatively, if you have ovenproof bowls, you can ladle the soup into them first, top with each with a baguette slice and cheese, then arrange the bowls on a baking sheet and place the sheet under the boiler, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken & Potatoes

Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken & Red potatoes

This Instant Pot Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes recipe is an easy one-pot meal that the whole family will love. This is healthy comfort food at its finest and most delicious. Parmesan cheese over the chicken and potatoes on your plate is the final, delectable touch.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken, Instant Pot, Potatoes
Servings: 4


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast Cubed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes halved
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 clove garlic minced or chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Select “sauté on high heat” on the Instant Pot and add the butter. Once hot, add the chicken and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side (will not be completely cooked).
  • Add the potatoes to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in chicken broth, garlic and thyme or rosemary. Secure the lid.
  • Select “Manual” and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
  • When cooking is complete, slow-release for about 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure.
  • Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a platter. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.

Meatless Monday – Crockpot Black Bean Soup

Crockpot Black Bean Soup

This Crockpot Black Bean Soup recipe is super easy to make, packed with protein, and it's super delicious! It also just so happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Woo Hooo
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Soup
Cuisine: Comfort, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, heart healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8


  • Crockpot


Main Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (yellow) chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz cans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Additional Garnish (Optional)


    • Combine all main ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker, and stir to combine.
    • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until all of the vegetables are cooked and tender.
    • Remove the bay leaf.
    • Serve the soup warm, garnished with your desired toppings. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

    Additional Options

    • use a blender or food processor to puree the soup completely (thick and smooth)
    • use a blender or food processor to puree about half of the soup (thick and smooth but still has texture)

    9 Months in the womb. Follow us throughout Yolanda’s pregnancy.

    Follow our Yolanda throughout her pregnancy as she talks about what she is experiencing. Here she talks about weeks 1 through 14. This is the start of the second trimester, where the pregnant mother may experience an increased appetite, varicose veins, and a stuffy nose.

    Stay tuned for the second trimester!

    -Dr. P

    Christmas Tree Lightings all over the Island this weekend and next!

    2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting & Display

    Rockefeller Center – TONIGHT
    30 Rockefeller Plaza
    New YorkNY 10012
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:00 PM
    Dec 04, 2019

    Moriches’ 2019 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

    at Center Square Shopping Center
    552 Montauk Highway
    Center Moriches, NY 11934
    Visit Website: Website.
    07:00 PM
    Fri, Dec 06, 2019

    Tree Lighting Ceremony at Mary Jane Davies Green, Manhasset

    at Mary Jane Davies Green
    Plandome Road
    Manhasset, NY 11030
    Visit Website: Website.
    04:00 PM – 05:00 PM
    Fri, Dec 06, 2019

    Orient Beach State Park’s 2019 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

    at Orient Beach State Park
    40000 Main Road
    Orient, NY 11957
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:30 PM
    Fri, Dec 06, 2019

    Annual Brookhaven Town Tree Lighting, Holtsville

    at Holtsville Ecology Site
    249 Buckley Road
    Holtsville, NY 11742
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:00 PM – 07:00 PM
    Fri, Dec 06, 2019

    The Maidstone Hotel’s 2019 Tree Lighting Ceremony, East Hampton

    at The Maidstone Hotel
    207 Main St.
    East Hampton, NY 11937
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:00 PM – 07:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    9th Annual Patriotic Holiday Tree Lighting, Nesconset

    at 316 Smithtown Boulevard
    Nesconset, NY
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    Kings Park’s 2019 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

    at Kings Park Library
    Main Street/Route 25A
    Kings Park, NY 11754
    Visit Website: Website.
    04:30 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    Freeport Holiday Boat Parade & Tree Lighting

    Woodcleft ave
    Freeport, NY 11520
    Visit Website: Website
    05:00 PM – 11:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    Grace Tree Lighting at Grace Episcopal Church, Massapequa

    23 Cedar Shore Dr.
    Massapequa, NY 11758
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 7, 2019

    Annual Train Car Tree Lighting and Visit with Santa, Port Jefferson Station

    Terryville Chamber Train Car Park
    1003 Rt 112
    Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:00 PM – 08:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    2019 Christmas Tree Lighting at Deepwells, St. James

    at Deepwells Farm County Park
    Route 25A and Moriches Road
    St. James, NY 11780
    Visit Website: Website.
    04:30 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    Belmont Lake State Park’s 2019 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, West Babylon

    at Belmont Lake State Park
    Southern State Parkway, Exit 38
    West Babylon, NY 11703
    Visit Website: Website.
    04:15 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019

    Bellport Village’s 2019 Tree Lighting Ceremony

    at Bellport Village
    Bellport Lane
    Bellport, NY 11713
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:00 PM Sat
    Dec 07, 2019

    Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery’s 2019 Tree Lighting Ceremony

    at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
    1660 Route 25A
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:00 PM – 07:00 PM
    Sat, Dec 07, 2019.

    Nesconset’s 2019 Holiday Lighting – Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting

    at Gazebo Park
    127 Smithtown Blvd
    Nesconset, NY 11767
    Visit Website: Website.
    02:00 PM – 04:30 PM
    Sun, Dec 08, 2019

    Medford’s 2019 Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting

    at Medford Memorial Park
    Route 112
    Medford, NY 11763
    Visit Website: Website.
    04:00 PM
    Sun, Dec 08, 2019

    Stony Brook Village’s 2019 Holiday Tree Lighting

    at Stony Brook Village Center
    111 Main Street
    Stony Brook, NY 11790
    Visit Website: Website.
    05:30 PM
    Sun, Dec 08, 2019

    OLA Knights of Columbus Children’s Christmas Parade, Copiague

    at Great Neck Road/OLA
    1400 Great Neck Road
    Copiague, NY 11726
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    Fri, Dec 13, 2019

    15th Annual Tree Lighting at Planting Fields, Oyster Bay

    at Planting Fields Arboretum
    1395 Planting Fields Rd.
    Oyster Bay, NY 11771
    Visit Website: Website.
    06:00 PM – 08:00 PM
    Fri, Dec 13, 2019


    -Dr. P

    Week 10 – Crockpot Apple Cider

    Crockpot Apple Cider From Scratch

    Today’s recipe for homemade slow cooker apple cider might seem like a lot of work but it's super easy. It’s made 100% from scratch and has been one of my favorite entertaining recipes over the past few years. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: apple cider, apples, crockpot, slow cooker
    Servings: 10 Cups
    Calories: 125kcal


    • Slow Cooker


    • 8 gala apples quartered or any apples you have on hand Remove the core
    • 1 orange sliced leave the rind on
    • 4 sticks cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
    • 10 cups water
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar


    • Place your quartered apples into a slow cooker.
    • Add in cinnamon sticks, orange, whole cloves, and allspice in there and pour in the 10 cups of water.
    • Cook on high for 3 hours.
    • After 3 hours, mash the apples with a potato masher.
    • Add in brown sugar and cook an additional 1-3 hours on low.
    • Using a cheesecloth, strain the solids from the liquids.
    • Discard solids and store liquids in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for later use.
    • Enjoy!

    This Not That Thursday – Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    If the group you're feeding on Thanksgiving Day has someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the stuffing recipe you’ll need to make the day perfect!
    Skip the carb-filled stuffing and have extra turkey 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
    Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, stuffing
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 90kcal


    • large skillet


    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 2 meduim onion chopped
    • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
    • 2 stalks celery chopped or thinly sliced
    • 1 medium head cauliflower chopped
    • 1 cup 8-oz. package baby bella mushrooms chopped
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt add more to your tase
    • 1 tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
    • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage or 1 tsp. ground sage
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth


    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
    • Add cauliflower and mushrooms and then season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
    • Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
    • Serve hot and enjoy!

    Week 9 – Crockpot 4 Cheese Spinach Artichoke dip

    Crockpot Four-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

    If you’re looking for a great holiday appetizer, this serves a ton of people and is super yummy! 
    I love the combination of these two simple vegetables into a creamy dip. The recipe I’m sharing today is leagues above the recipes I’ve made in the past, taking spinach and artichokes from simple to extraordinary thanks to the addition of the 4 cheese blend. You are welcome!
    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
    Total Time3 hrs
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: artichoke, comfort food, crockpot, slow cooker, slowcooker, spinach
    Servings: 16


    • Crockpot


    • 1 jar 12 ounces roasted sweet red peppers
    • 1 jar 6-1/2 ounces marinated quartered artichoke hearts
    • 1 bag 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
    • 6 ounces cream cheese softened and cubed
    • 1 ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
    • 1 ⅓ cup provolone cheese shredded
    • 1/3 cup fresh basil minced
    • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 3 cloves garlic minced


    • Drain peppers, reserving 1 tablespoon liquid; chop peppers.
    • Drain artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid; coarsely chop artichokes.
    • In a 3-qt. slow cooker combine spinach, cheeses, basil, onion, mayonnaise, garlic, artichoke hearts, and peppers.
    • Stir in reserved pepper and artichoke liquids. Cook, covered, on high 2 hours.
    • Stir dip; cook, covered, until cheese is melted, 30-60 minutes longer.
    • Stir before serving; serve with crackers.

    Week 8 – Crockpot Maple Pork Ribs

    Crock Pot Maple Pork Ribs

    Skip the same old boring barbecue sauce and opt for a maple dijon syrup glaze to slick up these pork ribs. These tender ribs are slow-cooked in a luscious maple-mustard sauce.
    Easy peasy and finger lickin good!!!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: crockpot, maple, ribs, slow cooker, slowcooker
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 428kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • Crock Pot


    • 2 pound boneless country-style pork ribs trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
    • 4 teaspoons canola oil
    • 2 medium onion sliced and separated into rings
    • 4 cups maple syrup
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard or spicy brown if you prefer


    • In a large skillet, brown ribs in oil on all sides; drain.
    • Place ribs and onion in a 1-1/2-qt. slow cooker.
    • Combine syrup and mustard; pour over ribs.
    • Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 5-6 hours.

    Week 6 – Crockpot Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Week 6 – Crockpot Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

    Nothing says “comfort food” like the aroma of a warm roast wafting through your home. These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are a perfectly satisfying and easy dinner option for this rainy Halloween night. The contrast of the crusty French bread and the tender, juicy meat brings this sandwich to the next level.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time6 hrs
    Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, french dip, high protein, slow cooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 397kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • Slow Cooker


    • 1 3 lb Boneless beef chuck roast Trimmed
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed French onion soup, undiluted
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed beef consomme, undiluted
    • 1 Can 10-1/2 ounces condensed beef broth, undiluted
    • 8 to 10 French or Italian rolls split


    • Halve roast and place in a 3-qt. slow cooker.
    • Combine the soup, consomme, broth, and bouillon; pour over roast.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
    • Remove meat and shred with 2 forks.
    • Serve on rolls.
    • Skim fat from cooking juices; serve juices on the side for dipping.

    This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Indoor Herb Garden

    Good afternoon lovely people. 

    We have something special for you today! Our “This, Not That, Thursday” is about indoor herb gardens. An indoor herb garden is a great way to have fresh herbs all year long and in almost any climate. Plus if you grow them from organic non-GMO seeds, you’ll know you’ve got the best of the best for your family.

    Savor the flavor of your favorite herbs and add a bright bit of green to your kitchen when you bring your herb garden inside. If you have a sunny windowsill with at least four hours of sunshine a day, you have everything you need for a flourishing garden full of herbs such as mint, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

    There’s no benefit to growing herbs you aren’t going to use. Start with the ones you use often. If you’re still not sure which to grow, here are some ideas:

    Rosemary – This herb is spicy and warm and great paired with beef, lamb, or chicken. Rosemary is also helpful for keeping rodents and mosquitoes away.

    Thyme – Thyme is most often used as a spice in culinary uses and its aromatic and rich flavor is perfect for soups, stews, and marinades.

    Oregano – Oregano is often used in Greek and Italian food (especially tomato dishes).

    Mint – Mint is a tasty herb that adds some freshness to any dish (especially lamb!).

    Basil – Most well known as the main ingredient in pesto, basil is a delicious and mild herb.

    Sage – Sage is a great herb to add to pork or turkey sausage and combines well with any other herb on this list.

    You can start your herb garden from seeds, or to get a quick start, you can purchase established herb plants from your local garden center or grocery store. When you purchase established plants you won’t have to wait long until the plants are mature enough for harvesting fresh herbs when you need them.

    -Dr. P

    Week 5 – Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE our slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work. Set it & forget it!

    Set it, forget it, then serve it up hot!

    Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

    Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time7 hrs
    Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: Chicken, crockpot, Gluten Free, high protein, low calorie, slowcooker
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 207kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • Slow Cooker


    • 2 Medium Yellow onions thinly sliced
    • 1 3/4 Lbs broiler/fryer chicken cut up and skin removed
    • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can 8 ounces tomato sauce
    • 1 can 4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained, or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1/3 cup white wine or water


    • Serve with Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta for a GF version.


    • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the chicken, seasonings, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and wine.
    • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with sauce over your pasta choice.


    Nutrition Facts
    1 serving (calculated without pasta): 207 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 787mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 vegetable.

    This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Natural Cat Treats

    Hello again! Since many of today’s cat treats are full of preservatives and chemicals, why not make them yourself? That’s why this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” is on DIY Natural Cat treats. It’s relatively easy and quick, and, best of all, you know what kitty is eating!

    DIY Natural cat treats

    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time30 mins
    Course: Snack
    Keyword: cat treats


    • food processer


    • 1 5 oz can tuna in water, drained
    • ½ cup oat flour*
    • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 heaping tablespoon catnip


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
    • Combine all ingredients in a food processer with the blade attachment.
    • Blend until mixture is smooth.
    • Roll into small ½ teaspoon balls and place onto the parchment. Press a finger each ball to flatten slightly
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes until they are slightly browned. Cool completely before surprising your kitty with a treat made just for them!


    To make your own oat flour, simply grind old-fashioned oats in a clean coffee grinder until transformed into a light powder.

    Week 3 – Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    Crockpot Rosemary Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

    This is one of my weekend favorites. 2-3 hrs in the slow cooker and before you know it, a superbly delicious, soul-warming meal. I use this when I have leftover chicken handy, usually grilled chicken or leftover rotisserie minus the skin. Skip the chicken and rosemary and you've got yourself a wonderful vegetarian mushroom risotto! Either way, enjoy 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
    Total Time3 hrs
    Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Comfort, Italian
    Keyword: crockpot, one dish meal, risotto, slowcooker
    Servings: 8
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • Crockpot


    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups precooked chicken skinless
    • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms about 8 oz
    • 1/3 cup chopped onion
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 3/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon Rosemary or a few fresh sprigs
    • Asiago or parmesan cheese shreds optional
    • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves optional


    • In a large skillet saute mushrooms, onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat . Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.
    • Add in rice, stirring to coat for 2 minutes.
    • Dump the rice mixture to a 4-quart crockpot. Stir in broth, chicken, wine, and pepper.
    • Cover and cook – low-heat setting about 2 hours and 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
    • Top with cheese and/or parsley. Serve immediately.


    Cooking times may vary a little depending on slow cooker brands. Some run  hotter than others. For this recipe, I used Crock-Pot.

    Week 2 – Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    In honor of Rosh Hashanah, this week’s Crockpot recipe is a flavorful pot roast for a delightful family dinner. (Brisket can be used if you prefer).

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid or sauce, and cook a long time over low heat. You’ll need to have this on for about 7-8 hours but it will be worth it!
    L’shana tova umetukah

    Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

    The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid, and cook a long time over low heat.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Jewish
    Keyword: Gluten Free, nut free
    Servings: 8


    • Crockpot


    • 3 pound pot roast
    • 2 large onions
    • 6 large carrots cut thin
    • 5 stalks celery chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
    • 6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 3/4 cup beef stock
    • 3/4 cup red wine
    • A handful of fresh cut herbs – parsley and tarragon


    • Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle all sides of your pot roast with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Add pot roast to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When pot roast is browned, add to crockpot.
    • In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
    • Meanwhile in a measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
    • When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
    • Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over pot roast, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
    • When done, take out the meat, let it cool for 5 minutes or until it’s easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.


    Side note: This pot roast can be cooked a day in advance; let the meat and vegetables cool in the crockpot in their juices, and then cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered on high, about 30 minutes.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Using Apple Peels & Cores

    Apples! Did someone say apples? This week “This, Not That Thursday” is all about saving those apple peels and cores.

    Every fall we take at least one trip to an apple orchard near us. They have family-friendly activities, wonderful local canned goods for sale, and of course, apples. So many apples! Plain apples, apples to make applesauce, pies, crisps and the “mother” of them all… Apple Cider Vinegar

    When making any of the above you will probably peel & core some of those apples but did you know you can use the peels and the cores to make apple cider vinegar? This way you have virtually no waste! WINNER!

    It is also totally possible to make apple cider vinegar from the whole apple so don’t worry if you don’t have leftover peels and cores from anything.

    There are several more elaborate ways to make apple cider vinegar at home, but today I’m gonna show you how to make it from apple scraps. I especially like this method since it allows me to use the apples for other stuff while still making a valuable product from the “waste”.


    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time5 d
    Total Time5 d 10 mins
    Course: Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sodium, nut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • One quart jar
    • One canning lid ring OR a rubber band
    • Coffee filter OR paper towel


    • 5-6 Large apples Apple peels & cores any browning/discolored flesh from organic apples
    • 2-2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar I like Turbinado raw sugar
    • 2-2 1/2 cups water boiled and allowed to cool


    • Cover the bottom of your jar with apple scraps, filling no more than 3/4 full. The apples need room to expand and stay submerged.
    • Add 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar and 2 cups of filtered water to the jar. The apples should be completely submerged. Mold can grow on any portions of apples that are not covered and ruin your batch of vinegar. If your scraps float to the top of the jar add a smaller jar on top to keep them submerged.
    • 3.Stir the apples, sugar, and water and cover with a coffee filter. Secure with a canning band, or a rubber band.
    • Allow apples to sit in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks. Above the refrigerator or on the top shelf of a cupboard are great places. Just don’t forget you put it there!
    • After 2 weeks, you might notice some fizz or bubbles. That’s good news! Strain out the apple pieces and compost. Cover the apple cider vinegar again with a coffee filter and canning band. Allow continuing to sit at room temperature for another 2-4 weeks.
    • The vinegar may become cloudy or a SCOBY could form on the top, both of which are normal. Taste test the vinegar once a week until it’s to your liking. You can stop the fermentation process by replacing the coffee filter with a canning lid and storing it in the refrigerator.
    • Use your homemade vinegar just like you would store-bought vinegar– for cooking, cleaning and everything in between


    Tip: You don’t HAVE to use a quart-sized jar, but it’s what I readily have available. Feel free to use whatever size jar you have on hand. If you use a different size jar, the ratio is 1 Tbsp sugar per 1 cup water.
    NOTE: About preserving and pickling with homemade vinegar: It’s generally recommended that you do NOT use homemade vinegar for any sort of preservation. In order to ensure the safety of your home canned products, you need a vinegar with an acetic acid level of 5%. Since most of us don’t have a way to check the levels of our homemade vinegar, it’s best just to skip using it for canning or preserving– better safe than sorry!
    NOTE: You want the peels to be from apples that have been scrubbed very, very well. Organic apples are preferred, but simply buy the best you can afford and wash them very well. Secondly, it’s okay to use brown or bruised apples. However, it is NOT okay to use moldy or rotten apples.

    This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Aloe Vera Gel

    It is easy to make aloe vera gel at home. All you need is a few healthy leaves of the aloe vera plant. If you have an aloe vera plant at home or in your garden, then you are lucky! Aloe vera gel is an excellent all-natural healer for skin issues such as sunburn, rashes, acne, among others. Aloe vera gel is also known to promote healthy hair growth. You can even preserve the gel for a month by adding natural preservatives.

    How to make Aloe Vera Gel

    Make your very own natural healer and skin cleanser!

    Prep Time 30 mins – Total Time 30 mins

    Appliance Needed: Blender, Refrigerator Serving size: 1 cup


    • 2 aloe vera leaves
    • 500 mg vitamin C (optional)
    • 400 IU vitamin E (optional)


    1. If you have access to an aloe vera plant, take a sharp knife and cut off a leaf from the outside of the plant, close to its base. They are usually more mature and contain plenty of gel. If your plant is too young, make sure you do not cut off too many leaves at once. Aloe vera leaves are also available in supermarkets in the produce section. You can usually get 1/2 a cup of gel from 1 mature aloe vera leaf.
    2. Wash the leaves under cold running water to remove any dirt on the skin.
    3. Place the leaves upright in a bowl to let any white or yellow resin to drain off. This can cause irritation to the skin.
    4. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin of the aloe vera leaf on one side. You will see the sticky gel underneath.
    5. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the gel. Collect the gel in a clean glass container and make sure you do not get any pieces of the leaf skin in it.
    6. If you have collected a lot of gel and want to preserve it, you can mix it with natural preservatives. In a blender, add aloe vera gel and vitamin C or vitamin E capsules. For every 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel, you can either add 500 mg of vitamin C or 400 IU vitamin E. The foamy gel should be put in a clean, airtight glass jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
    7. You can also use fresh aloe vera gel to make a nourishing aloe vera juice or add it to smoothies.


    Consider growing an aloe vera plant in your home as they are low-maintenance plants and grow easily. Aloe is generally safe for most people, but if you have an underlying health condition or take medicines or use herbs, talk to your doctor before using aloe as it could react with other medications and substances.

    -Dr. P

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    "This is a creamy variation of a family classic. The Cream cheese addition takes it to the next level. Serve over hot, cooked egg noodles to complete this easy peasy dinner ."
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time8 hrs
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: high protein, nut free, soy free
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 376kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette


    • Slow Cooker


    • 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
    • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 4 ounces cream cheese


    • In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
    • Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours.
    • Stir in cream cheese just before serving.


    Nutrition Facts
    Per Serving: 376 calories;
    27.3 g fat;
    9.5 g carbohydrates;
    22 g protein;
    97 mg cholesterol;
    711 mg sodium

    This, Not That, Thursday – Reusable Snack Bags

    Good morning! It’s almost Back to School & snacks are a big deal. This week “This, Not That, Thursday” is focusing on reusable snack bags. There is so much waste that comes from using single-serve packets or using plastic bags every day. Reusable snack bags are amazing and will save you money in the long run. You can buy them of course but we’re going to tell you how to make them.

    Materials for Making Reusable Snack Bags:
    – Outside cotton fabric—dig through your fabric stash! You just need enough to make two 6 1/2”x5″ rectangles (or whatever size you choose)
    – Waterproof food-safe fabric
    – Velcro
    – Coordinating thread
    – Scissors
    – Ruler
    – Seam gauge
    – Rotary cutter and mat (optional, but makes this project even quicker!)How to Make – Reusable Snack Bags:
    1. Cut your fabric. Cut two pieces each of the outer fabric and the line (6 1/2″ x 5″) but any size will work. Cut a strip of the Velcro/hook and loop fastener to 6 1/2″ (or whatever width your bag will be).
    2. Pin one half of the velcro strip 3/4″ from the top of one-liner piece, and sew all around the edges of the fastener. You may be tempted to not pin, even if you tend to freehand your sewing, you WILL want to pin in this.
    Repeat with the other piece of lining fabric and the other half of the hook-and-loop fastener.
    3. Pin one piece of the lining fabric to one piece of the outer fabric, right sides together (for the lining, the “right side” is the one with the fastener on it). Sew along the top, 1/4″ from the edge.
    Repeat with the other lining and outside fabric piece. Open up both pieces and run your finger along the seams to press them open. You’d usually want to iron here, but the high heat may damage the liner.
    4. Put together both pieces, right sides together, matching up the seams and the Velcro. Starting at the bottom of the lining fabric, sew around the perimeter of the piece, leaving a 2″ space open at the bottom of the liner to turn the bag. Backstitch at each end of your sewing for security.
    5. Turn the bag right-side-out through the opening in the bottom of the liner.
    6. Close the opening at the bottom of the liner by folding in the edges to create a seam. You can either topstitch over this or slipstitch it.
    7. Push the liner inside the bag, and you’re done! To make the bags lay flat, you may want to either finger press the top seams or briefly run over the bags with a very low iron.
    Cleaning Your Snack Bags
    Most of the time, you can just turn the bags inside out and wipe clean. But if it gets really dirty, wash in cold water and hang up to dry. If you choose to put these through the washer, I recommend putting them in a mesh laundry bag first, just so the Velcro doesn’t get caught on the rest of your laundry

    This, Not That, Thursday – 5 uses for used coffee grounds

    Something that never felt right to me was throwing away used coffee grounds. Many people wake up in the morning looking forward to their cup of coffee and then habitually toss the grounds into the trash without a second thought.

    As it turns out, there are many wonderful things you can do with these spent coffee grounds. Before you throw out those grounds after brewing up your morning beverage, give one of these ideas a try.

    1. Coffee grounds are wonderful at exfoliating your hair. 

    To exfoliate hair, use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup used coffee grounds, depending on hair length. In the shower, wet hair thoroughly. Massage grounds through hair focusing on the scalp. It helps to part the hair and work in sections. Once you have covered the whole scalp, thoroughly wet the hair again. Don’t try to rinse the grounds out as it won’t work. Use your shampoo to work up a nice lather. Then you can rinse it all out. A second shampooing may be necessary. Finish with your normal conditioner or apple cider vinegar rinse.

    2. Soil aeration and nitrogen boost for houseplants. 

    Adding coffee grounds to your houseplants helps the pH balance (toward acidity) as well as increasing nitrogen and aerating the soil. Tomatoes love acidic soil!

    3. Neutralize refrigerator odors. 

    Placing them in the refrigerator acts as a natural deodorizer. The only thing you need to watch for is mold if you use damp grounds. Replace immediately with fresher grounds if it turns into a science experiment.

    4. Weigh Down Ashes for Fireplace Clean-up:

    If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, those old coffee grounds will become your best friend. When it is time to clean out the ashes, cover them with a layer of wet coffee grounds to moisten and weigh them down. This will greatly reduce the amount of ash that will float up and coat your living room when you scoop them out.

    5. Pest Repellent

    Snail, slug, and cat repellent. In the garden, just mound up a barrier of used grounds around the plants which slugs and cats are attracted to. It will help keep them at bay.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Air Purifying Plants

    Good afternoon everyone.

    It is a beautiful sunny Thursday and were happy to bring you this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday.” This week we will be talking about Air purifying plants.

    Why does indoor air need purifying?

    Well, there are plenty of toxins floating around outside thanks to pesticides and herbicides, vehicle fumes, and other industrial pollutants. Sadly, you’ll find a ton of toxins in the air inside your own home as well.

    Your indoor air quality is affected by the following:

    1. Cleaning products, especially laundry detergent and fabric softener, as laundry chemicals are the top indoor pollutant
    2. Chemical flame retardants in furniture, mattresses, and children’s PJs
    3. Formaldehyde found in gas stoves, garbage bags, paper towels and tissues, carpet backing, and some fabrics
    4. Fragrances
    5. Other toxins carried in on your clothes and shoes from outdoors
    6. Electromagnetic frequencies (from computers, WiFi, and other electronics)

    Opening your windows can go a long way, but a solution I really like is plants. These houseplants are the most effective at removing indoor air toxins and contaminants.

    Bamboo Palm

    Bamboo palms are effective at removing chemical contaminants from the air like formaldehyde and benzene. They also help to keep the air moist, which is helpful during winter months when all types of heaters can produce overly dry indoor air.

    Bamboo palms have a tropical appearance and, though green instead of the typical tan bamboo color, have the characteristic tall, skinny canes and fanned leaves.

    Rubber Plant

    The rubber plant is very effective for removing formaldehyde from indoor air. It’s favored for its ease of growth, as well as its appearance, which features large, rubbery leaves.

    The rubber plant can grow up to 8 feet tall in the proper conditions. This large plant is bred for toughness, which means that it’s not only one of the most effective plants for purifying indoor air, but it’s sure to be hardy even in less than ideal conditions.

    English Ivy

    English ivy is most often seen growing as a covering in atriums and lobbies, but it makes a lovely feature if grown as a topiary. Like the rubber plant, English ivy is known for its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air.

    English ivy needs lots of light to look its best, but does well when the temperature doesn’t get too hot. It is, however, very adaptable to its environment, as it will climb and spread over any surface given the chance.

    Dwarf Date Palm

    If you’re into tropical plants, the dwarf date palm is for you. It’s like an adorable mini palm tree that fits in your living room.

    The dwarf date palm is one of the most effective palms for removing indoor air pollution, especially xylene, which is found in solvents and paint thinner. It’s also quite good at keeping the air moist and is fairly easy to grow.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – How to start a compost pile

    For this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we’re discussing “how to start a compost pile.”

    The EPA estimates that 22 percent of solid waste that enters the landfill is food.

    Composting is a perfect way to divert a lot of that organic matter away from the landfill. While it’s still important to cut down on food waste by eating leftovers and using up produce before it goes bad, no one is perfect. So, composting the kitchen waste that can’t be saved is a great way to reduce food waste.

    How to start a compost pile

    Starting a compost pile requires a few simple steps: creating the compost heap, adding organic materials, and watering and turning the compost as necessary. 

    Creating your compost heap 

    Location – One of the most important factors for starting a compost pile is its location. Choose an open, level area with good drainage. You do not want your compost to sit in standing water. An area with partial sun or shade is also ideal. Too much sun can dry the pile out, while too much shade can keep it overly wet. Finally, choose a site that is easy for you to get to and avoid areas near dogs or other meat-eating animals. 

    Size – The recommended size for a compost pile is generally no smaller than 3 feet high and wide and no larger than 5 feet. Anything smaller may not heat up efficiently and anything larger may hold too much water and become difficult to turn. It is recommended to start your pile on the bare ground rather than on asphalt or concrete. This impedes aeration and inhibits microbes. Placing a pallet underneath the pile is fine, however, if you prefer. 

    Adding organic materials 

    Many organic materials can be composted, but there are some items that you should keep out of your compost pile. 

    These include: 

    • Meat
    • Dairy
    • Fat
    • oil products 
    • Carnivorous pet feces (e.g. dog, cat) 
    • Diseased plants, or weeds that have seeded Human waste Charcoal or coal ash (wood ash is ok though) 

    The key materials for composting are nitrogen/greens and carbon/browns. When starting a compost pile, the recommended practice is to layer or alternate these greens and browns, the same way as you would for making lasagna. 

    Your bulkier organic materials do best in the first ground layer, so start with a layer of browns, such as twigs (less than ½ inch in diameter) or straw, about 4 to 6 inches. 

    Next, add in some green materials, such as kitchen waste and grass clippings, again about 4 to 6 inches thick. Additionally, animal manure and fertilizers serve as activators that accelerate the heating of your pile and provide a nitrogen source for beneficial microbes. 

    Continue to add layers of nitrogen and carbon materials until you reach the top or run out. Lightly water each layer as it is added, firming it down but do not compact. 

    Watering and turning the compost 

    Your compost pile should be moist, but not soggy. Most of your water will come from rain, as well as the moisture in green materials, but you may need to water the pile yourself on occasion. If the pile gets too wet, you can turn it more frequently to dry it or add more brown materials to soak up excess moisture. Once you turn the pile the first time, these materials will get mixed together and compost more efficiently. Keeping the compost pile turned on a frequent basis will help with aeration and speed up decomposition. Using these simple instructions for composting, you will be well on your way to creating the ideal compost for your garden. 

    -Dr. P

    Insta Pot Beefy Gyros

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?

    Beef Gyros with the Insta Pot

    These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: low carb, soy free
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 395kcal


    • Insta Pot


    • 2 lbs beef roast thinly sliced *I've also used loin flap meat and it's so easy to slice and cook
    • 4 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 tbsp parsley dried
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
    • 1 red onion thinly sliced
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 4 tbsp oil olive, coconut, avocado, etc
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar optional
    • 1 tsp olive oil optional


    • Pitas or Naan bread
    • carrots sliced
    • onions sliced
    • grape tomatoes quartered
    • cucumbers sliced
    • Lettuce
    • Feta or goat cheese optional, use container to measure

    Tzatziki Sauce:

    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled seeded, and chopped finely
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    • 1 tsp salt and pepper
    • 2 tbsp fresh dill


    • Turn Instant Pot on saute and let the pot warn up. When it’s warm, add oil to the bottom of the pot and let it get hot.
    • Add meat, seasoning, garlic, and onion to Instant Pot. Sear and let onions soften for 3-5 minutes.
    • Pour lemon juice and broth over the meat. Give the meat a quick stir, then lock lid into place. Turn the steam valve to sealing. Using the Meat/Stew preset, cook the gyro meat for 9 minutes.
    • Let the pressure naturally release for 3 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the quick release method.
    • While the gyro meat is cooking mix together the Tzatziki sauce and slice your vegetable toppings. For added flavor, drizzle apple cider vinegar and olive oil over vegetables.


    Note: To make your gyro, layer the lettuce at the bottom of the pita or naan bread. Then add your meat, toppings, and sauce. This will keep the pita
    or naan from getting soggy.
    Calories: 395 cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2.5% | Vitamin C: 5% | Calcium: 6.9% | Iron: 18.1%

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural oven cleaner

    When cleaning your oven, you think of a giant chore & super harsh chemicals. 

    Well, we’re here with this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” to offer you a better way. You don’t even have to clean your oven in a day. By getting started the night before, you’ll save yourself time and aggravation. Thanks to white vinegar and baking soda, you won’t need to use harsh chemicals. They are environmentally friendly, remove hardened stains and eliminate germs and odors.

    Natural Oven cleaner


    • Dish gloves
    • Baking soda
    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • A spray bottle
    • A sponge or cleaning cloth
    • A scraper or spatula
    • Paper towels
    • Bucket or bowl


    1. Remove the racks from your oven and wash them in warm, soapy water. Some oven racks are dishwasher-safe, but check your oven manual first to make sure they won’t be damaged in the dishwasher. Dry the racks and set them aside.

    2. Remove any loose food particles from your oven. Use a scraper to get all the burnt bits out.

    3. Make a paste using three parts baking soda and one part water. 

    4. Spread the paste around the inside of your oven. If there are really tough, burnt-on spots, put a little extra baking soda paste on them. Avoid putting the paste on heating elements inside the oven.

    5. Close your oven, and let the paste sit overnight.

    6. When you’re ready, moisten your sponge or cleaning cloth with warm water and wipe away the baking soda paste. Use a bucket or bowl full of warm water to rinse the sponge or cleaning cloth as you’re removing the baking soda paste. For any stubborn messes, use a scraper or spatula.

    7. Fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar and one part water. Spray down the oven and wipe away leftover baking soda paste with paper towels or another cleaning cloth. 

    8. Replace the oven racks.

    Your oven is going to be so spotless, the next time your mother-in-law stops by, you’ll make up excuses for her to open it up.

    -Dr. P

    Summertime Grecian Flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”

    Summertime Grecian flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 282kcal


    • 5 Plum (Romtomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1 pinch Italian seasoning
    • 24 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup capers
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese freshly grated is best
    • 1 pound flounder fillets
    • 6 leaves fresh basil torn


    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water; drain. Remove and discard skins from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
    • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
    • Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
    • Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

    This, Not That, Thursday – Sugary Drink Alternatives

    Hi everyone! 
    For this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” we are looking at healthy alternatives to sugary drinks. Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking sugary drinks on your waistline and your teeth. It may have far more health risks than many of us may realize. Drinking sugary drinks can cause a decline in kidney function, an increase in your risk of diabetes, and can cause vascular issues. Sugary drinks also deplete your mineral levels and leave you dehydrated. Sugary drinks are also linked to dementia and cancer.

    These are just a few of the negative health effects of sugary drinks. Help to cut the cola with these healthy and delicious sugary drink alternatives.

    Tea – iced or hot-
    With all the different ways to enjoy it hot or cold, tea is likely one of the best sugary drink substitutes on this list. Tea has an extensive variety of flavor profiles and caffeine levels. There’s a tea out there for everyone! Perfect for any season or time of day, tea is a versatile sugary drink substitute and easy way to enjoy flavored beverages with little to no calories. Herbal tea can be used to help you unwind, boost your immune system, or reduce pain or soreness.

    Freshly-squeezed lemonade-
    A classic summertime pick-me-up, fresh lemonade—maybe with a dash of cane sugar or agave nectar for a hint of sweetness—has enough citrusy flavor to help wash away those memories of your sugary drink guzzling days.

    Sparkling water-
    After decades of public health initiatives, consumers are leaving sugary drinks behind for its sleeker, healthier counterpart: flavored sparkling water. Nowadays, sparkling water makers are everywhere, from homes to offices, hotels to restaurants. Rather than buying bottles and cans, avid sparkling water drinkers often invest in carbonated water dispensers to mitigate the environmental impact of buying cases of fizzy water. Now that’s some savvy sipping!

    Kombucha is a recent health trend that shows no signs of fizzling out. While its poignant flavor is not for everyone, Kombucha typically contains little to no sugar and is a potential source of probiotics, which are known to promote gut health. It contains antioxidants and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Sparkling water with a splash of juice-
    Perfect for brunch, sparkling water with a splash of pineapple, orange, cranberry, or mango juice is a great non-alcoholic, low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks or mimosas at brunch.

    Fruit and herb infusions-
    Infusions are a great way to use up any extra fruit and herbs in your fridge before they spoil. Simply chop whatever fruit and herbs you have, throw them in a pitcher or reusable water bottle, and you’ll be sipping on some fruity goodness in just a few hours. If you enjoy fruit flavors but don’t want the sugar rush of juice, infusions are the way to go!

    Coconut water-
    Like Kombucha, Coconut water is a health fad and popular healthy substitute for sugary drinks that’s been on the scene for a few years now. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is a natural source of potassium and electrolytes, making it the perfect tropical alternative to plain water.

    Mineral water-
    Mineral water contains zero calories and has the added nutritional benefit of minerals such as calcium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate. Mineral water is an everyday sugary drink substitute that’s sold at most grocery stores and online. It can help to lower blood pressure, regulate blood circulation, strengthen bones, and promote digestive health.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – 4th of July Firework Safety tips

    The Fourth of July is here, which means fireworks season is also here.

    Fireworks can be very dangerous if not used properly.

    An average of 18,500 fires are caused by fireworks each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Such fires cause an average of three deaths, 40 injuries and $43 million in direct property damage.

    In 2017, 53% of fireworks-related injuries were burns. The most common injuries were to the hands and fingers at an estimated 31%, followed by head, face and ears at 22%.

    Children younger than 15 accounted for 36% of fireworks-related injuries.

    If you’re going to be setting off fireworks this summer, here are some important tips you need to heed.

    Happy 4th of July – Stay safe 🥳

    Summer Bucket List for Long Island Kids

    For our latest installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we bring you Dr. Polcino’s “Summer Bucket List for LI kids.”
    It features oodles of ideas when it comes to places to go, things to do, events, and activities to do with kids on Long Island! From toddlers to tweens, our Summer Bucket List has great ways to spend the days, and you’re sure to see a smile on everyone’s face.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Rabbit Repellent

    Hey all! We’re back with another installment of “This, Not That, Thursday.”
    If you need a way to deter rabbits from eating your flowers, try this organic rabbit repellent recipe. It uses garlic and red peppers to repel the rabbits naturally without damaging your plants. And don’t worry–those cute little critters won’t be harmed at all.

    You just need a couple of items to make this Natural rabbit repellent: garlic, peppers, dish soap, and an empty milk jug.

    Natural Rabbit Repellent Recipe
    Items needed:
    empty milk/water jug
    7 garlic cloves
    2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
    1-gallon water
    1 tablespoon dish soap (see our other posts for a Natural Dish Soap)
    To make the repellent fill an old jug with water, add 7 crushed garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers (you can save a packet from the pizza delivery for this) and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
    Shake well. Then let it sit in the sun for a day or two to make sure the water is saturated with the flavors and smells.
    Shake well. Then spray or pour on the plants that you don’t want the rabbits to eat.
    I had to reapply the rabbit repellent once a week for a couple of weeks to convince the rabbits that my tulips were never going to taste good again. With my other bulbs, I sprayed them with the natural rabbit repellent as soon as they started to poke through the ground and then reapplied the repellent once a week and after it rains.
    Good luck 

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Dish Soap

    We’re here with this week’s installment of “this, Not That, Thursday” – Natural Dish Soap.
    Here we go….

    Every single recipe I’ve tried just kept falling short. It didn’t suds enough or it wasn’t soapy or slippery enough, or worse – it left a nasty film on my dishes. There are lots of factors at play of course (type of soap, water hardness, etc.) so I’m not saying that those recipes didn’t work – just that they didn’t work for me. THIS ONE DID!

    Homemade Dish Soap: A Natural Recipe
    1 ¾ cups boiling water
    1 Tbsp borax
    1 Tbsp grated bar soap (use homemade soap, castile bar soap, Ivory, or whichever natural bar you prefer)
    15-20 drops essential oils, optional
    Heat water to boiling.
    Combine borax and grated bar soap in a medium bowl. Pour hot water over the mixture. Whisk until the grated soap is completely melted.
    Allow mixture to cool on the countertop for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Dish soap will gel upon standing.
    Transfer to a squirt bottle, and add essential oils (if using). Shake well to combine.

    *do not use vinegar – As per Dr. Bronners daughter Lisa “In great part, it’s due to the fact that vinegar is an acid and the castile soap is a base. They will directly react with each other and cancel each other out. So, instead of getting the best of both (the scum cutting ability of the vinegar and the dirt transporting ability of the soap), you’ll be getting the worst of something entirely new. The vinegar “unsaponifies” the soap, by which I mean that the vinegar takes the soap and reduces it back out to its original oils. So you end up with an oily, curdled, whitish mess. And this would be all over whatever it was you were trying to clean – your laundry or counters or dishes or whatever.”

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Gardening Tips

    In this week’s installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we bring you some Natural Gardening tips. Gardening is tough enough, but to do it without chemicals is well worth the effort for you & the family.

    Although you can use ready-made organic fertilizers, it is best to learn how to create your own organic fertilizers. Not only will it be better for the soil and the environment in the long-term, but it also helps you gain valuable insight into the world of gardening.

    Homemade Fertilizer
    Adding compost to your garden is an excellent way to improve the quality of your soil with natural fertilization. However, not everyone has the space or time for composting.
    We’ve got you covered! There are some other easy ways to fertilize your garden naturally. For one thing, instead of a huge compost pile, you can simply save some of the stuff from your kitchen you’d normally throw away.
    Three things that can benefit your garden:
    Coffee Grounds – adds nitrogen to the soil and is ideal for acid-loving plants like tomatoes
    Banana Peels – decompose quickly, replenishing potassium and other minerals to the soil
    Egg Shells – can add calcium carbonate and help avoid blossom rot in peppers and tomatoes
    Another common kitchen ingredient to help fertilize your garden is molasses. Just mix a few tablespoons of molasses with a gallon of water and then water your plants with it. The molasses acts sort of like a probiotic. It helps increase beneficial microbes.

    Garden Pest Control
    Every vegetable gardener faces pest issues from time to time, and learning how to manage the little leaf-munching menaces without using synthetic chemical pesticides is an essential step in growing a healthy, productive garden. To help you with this task, we’ve put together tips for keeping those pesky critters out of your garden.

    Orange Peels
    Orange peels can be placed around plants or attached directly to the stem to ward off and eliminate some pests. That’s because orange peels contain a natural chemical known as d-Limonene, which can kill off ants and aphids. The chemical destroys the waxy substance around the bugs, causing them to suffocate.
    Even the scent of orange peels, as well as other citrus peels, can keep those plant-destroying aphids and ants away.

    Plant Marigolds Around the Perimeter of the Garden
    Many gardeners put marigolds in their vegetable gardens. It’s believed the pungent smell potentially repels pests while attracting beneficial insects. Some say that the aroma of marigolds might even help keep rabbits and other rodents away from your vegetables too.
    However, not everyone is a believer in the marigold theory. In fact, there are some gardeners who say marigolds may actually attract harmful spider mites. Regardless of whether it works or not – marigolds will at least add a splash of color to your vegetable garden.

    Cayenne pepper
    Sprinkling cayenne pepper, pepper flakes, and/or garlic pepper on and around your plants when they are ready to bloom is an excellent deterrent. Squirrels won’t eat anything with cayenne—which you can often buy in bulk.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not That, Thursday – Natural Cleaners

    On this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” segment, we’re looking at all natural cleaning tips. Switching to homemade DIY cleaners might sound like a lot more work, but it’s actually quite simple. The ingredients are easy to come by and last a long time.

    The natural cleaning ingredients we like to keep on hand are:
    * white vinegar
    * liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
    * natural salt
    * baking soda
    * borax
    * washing soda
    * hydrogen peroxide
    * lemons
    * microfiber cloths
    * essential oils (optional)
    * a spray bottle or two (preferably glass)

    Our 3 top recipes!

    All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
    * 1 tsp borax
    * 1/2 tsp washing soda
    * 1 tsp liquid castile soap
    * Essential oils of choice – I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops lavender, and 10 drops orange
    * Glass spray bottle for storage
    All-Purpose Cleaner Instructions
    1. Place borax, washing soda, and soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
    2. Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work.
    3. Add essential oils of choice.
    4. Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys.

    Glass Cleaner Ingredients
    * 2 cups of water (distilled or filtered is best so it doesn’t leave residue)
    * 2 tablespoons vinegar
    * 10 drops essential oil of choice- I use lemon (optional- but it helps cut the vinegar smell)
    Glass Cleaner Instructions
    Combine ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use as needed to clean window. I like to use a microfiber cloth to wipe windows clean with this recipe.

    How to Make Washing Soda
    If you have an oven and are feeling crafty, try this simple method of making washing soda. Another bonus is that baking soda is typically even less expensive (especially at big box stores) and making this at home can help further reduce the cost of budget-friendly cleaning recipes.
    Washing Soda Ingredients
    * Baking Soda
    * A large baking dish or baking sheet (I use these stainless steel restaurant pans for this and all of my baking and cooking)
    * An Oven

    Washing Soda Instructions
    1. Turn oven on 400 degrees F.
    2. Pour a thick (1/2 inch or so) layer of baking soda on the bottom of the baking dish.
    3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring 1-2 times in the middle, or until it has changed in look and feel. Baking soda has a silky/powdery feel and washing soda is more grainy and not silky. The baking soda will need to reach the full 400 degrees for this reaction to take place, so be patient.
    4. Let cool and store in an air-tight jar.
    Use this homemade washing soda as you would store-bought in natural cleaning recipes and laundry soaps.

    -Dr. P

    This, Not, That Thursday – Natural Ant Repellent

    There’s nothing like walking into your kitchen first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed and ready for your morning cup of coffee only to find that your home has been invaded by ants. Below are some of the best natural remedies you can try to get rid of the ants infesting your space.

    Cinnamon is an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen.
    According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, cinnamon essential oil yields positive results in both repellency and insecticidal activity.
    * Add 1 ¼ to 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil in a cup of water. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and wipe down the areas where ants may enter and dwell. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
    * You can also put ground cinnamon and whole cloves near entry points.
    Note: Use the cinnamon oil spray strategically in places of ant infestation; do not put it all over the place.

    White Vinegar
    White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.
    1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
    2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
    3. Add a few drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle thoroughly.
    4. Spray this solution around baseboards and other entry points.
    5. After an hour, wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them.
    6. Repeat once daily until the ants are completely gone.
    You can also use this vinegar solution to clean floors, windowsills and countertops to prevent ants from crawling over these surfaces.

    Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that can effectively keep ants away. Ants hate its strong smell, which also disrupts their smelling capabilities so they cannot detect food sources.
    * Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 cup of water. Spray the solution on all areas where ants are present. Repeat twice daily, until the ants are gone completely.
    * Sprinkle some dried peppermint around your doors, entryways and garbage areas to repel ants.
    * You can even grow peppermint plants in your kitchen garden.

    Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
    Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) also works well as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.
    The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ant’s exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.
    1. Gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, beneath the fridge, under cabinets, in and around garbage cans and any other places where you see ants.
    2. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
    Note: Do not wet the DE or it will not work.

    -Dr. P

    Remember, don’t overlook your heart!

    Did you know that heart disease kills more women than all types of cancer combined thus making it the number one killer of American women every year? It is time for each of us to step up and carefully speak to the women in our lives about the risk factors for heart disease.
    These risk factors include:
    -a family history of heart disease
    -high blood pressure
    -an abnormal lipid profile
    -being overweight
    -a lack of physical activity
    -a poor diet.
    If you or a loved one live with these risk factors, it is time to visit your health care provider to discuss the possibility of heart disease and then consider testing, possible treatment and of course, lifestyle changes.
    -Dr. P

    Are you at your mental best? No? Maybe you need a cup of coffee and a nap.

    Most of us have a downtime in our day approximately 7 to 8 hours after we awaken so that means between 2 and 4 pm we may not be at our mental best. The benefits of an afternoon nap are well known with 10 to 20 minutes being the most ideal. We arise from the nap with increased mental sharpness. You can increase this mental boost even greater by having a pre-nap cup of coffee. The caffeine will kick in just about the time you get up and perhaps your thinking will be even sharper. It seems there is another benefit to having that extra cup of coffee!