Friday, October 31, 2008


Well, I'm off in a few to take my munchkins trick-or-treating. For all my loyal readers, I'm referring to the kids I've been mentoring for the past year. Is it sad that I'm probably more excited about it than they are? Just goes to show, no matter how old you get, you can always stay young at heart! Anyhoo, I've heard a lot of people grumbling about what they're going to do with all their leftover Halloween candy. I've got a few ideas.

1.Trick-or-Treat for Unicef. Every Halloween, children across the globe help collect money door-to-door to support UNICEF projects. The money is often collected at the same time as the children collect Halloween candy - and then sent to a UNICEF office. The money raised goes to provide medicine, water, food, education, and other services for children around the world. For more information, visit the UNICEF site.

2. Participate in Sight Night. Halloween is "Sight Night" for the Gift of Sight Foundation. Each year, trick-or-treaters collect used eyewear - which is then cleaned, repaired and hand-delivered to underprivileged people in developing countries who couldn't otherwise afford them. Since the program began in 1999, more than 1 million pairs of eyewear have been collected. For more information, visit the Sight Night site.

3. Someone recently told me about sending leftover Halloween candy to the U.S. troops overseas - which they apparently then give out to children in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's the information, according to my source; "You can go to your local post office and ask for a free "Priority Mail/Flat Rate Box." Since they go to APO boxes, they are not classed as international, and you can mail them for no more than $8, regardless of the weight. I go to "" and you can pick the branch of service you want to send the candy to. They have names and address of either individuals or company officers who know which soldiers in their units NEVER get any mail from home (which makes me sad) and give them out accordingly. Or some units make the candy available to all."

3. Donate your candy to a local food pantry.

4. Buy candy that supports a specific social cause - such as the pink bags of chocolate that help raise funds to fight breast cancer.

You get the idea! Use your powers for good this Halloween - not evil!

Now, I'm going to leave you today without a specific recipe, only because I know you'll be gnawing on that leftover candy for most of the weekend. But if you really want to watch calories, buy sugar-free chocolate.

And here is some Halloween trivia for all you ghosts and ghouls out there. Have a fabulous weekend!

* Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
* Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
* Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
* Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
* The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
* Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
* Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
* Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
* Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
* Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

You say choco-holic like it's a bad thing!

And today isn't even my birthday! According to my handy-dandy food calendar, today is National Chocolate Day! All I have to say is…about time! I've been needing an excuse to dive into my sugar-free chocolate stash. And since it's almost Halloween, I just may whip up one or two chocolate-infused desserts for my friends.

First, the good news. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. In addition, dark chocolate has a number of antioxidants that help balance certain hormones in the body, reduce the formation of free radicals and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, eating large quantities of any energy-rich food such as chocolate increases the risk of obesity.

So, as per usual, moderation is key folks!

Now to help you out, here are a few sucralose-sweetened chocolate recipes, courtesy of Hungry Girl and

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups moist-style chocolate cake mix (half of an 18.25-oz. box)
Two 25-calorie packets diet hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
2 tbsp. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt
Place chocolate chips and the contents of both cocoa packets in a tall glass. Add 12 ounces of boiling water, and stir until chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Place glass in the freezer to chill for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once cocoa has chilled, give it a stir, and mix with all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whip batter with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray, or line it with baking cups. Evenly spoon batter (which will be thin, but don't worry, your cupcakes will puff up!) into the pan. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Cupcakes will look shiny when done. MAKES 12 SERVINGS

Died and Went to Heaven Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/2 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong black coffee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cake pan or bundt with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Blend flour, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and coffee in a small bowl.
Add flour to mixture, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix until Smooth (about 2 minutes).
Pour batter into cake pan or bundt pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Chocolate Velvet Mousse
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Curacao, Triple Sec, or brandy)*
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups sliced strawberries
Place chocolate and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until chocolate melts. Set aside.
Stir together egg substitute, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, cornstarch and Grand Marnier in a small mixing bowl. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir constantly. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken (approx. 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend or process briefly (10-20 seconds) to make a more creamy texture. Pour into medium bowl and cover.
Refrigerate chocolate mixture approx. 2-3 hours or until cool. Whip cream until stiff and fold into chocolate. Refrigerate overnight to set. Will keep refrigerated for 3 days.
To serve, layer strawberries and mousse in 6 all- purpose wine glasses.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Democracy at Work

Guess what I did today? I voted! I got up at the crack of dawn and headed over to the government building before work, waiting in a surprisingly long line to cast my ballot in the presidential, state and local races. My thought process was to get it out of the way early, so I could avoid the long lines expected on Nov. 4. But if the early voter turnout stays as strong as it was today - seriously, y'all...the line snaked around the building - then Election Day voters might be able to breeze in and out of the polling places.
Either way, YAY! My part is done...and I'm definitely ready for this election to be over.
Anyhoo, as a little treat to myself for participating in democracy and surviving a taxing work week, I'm going to enjoy some sweets tonight. The question is, what should I whip up? Well, for starters, October is National Apple Month. And since I did vote today, it seems fitting to bake an apple pie. After all, what's more American than apple pie, right? Here are a few sucralose-based, apple-licious dessert recipes for all my fellow "sweet tooths" out there.

P.S. If you want a more traditional apple pie recipe, refer to my blog entry about Pushing Daisies last week.

Apple Bread Pudding Pie

Granny's Apple Crisp

Caramel Apple Cider

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Help!

Okay, so I've been a bit of a slacker the past few Halloweens when it comes to costumes. I used to always come up with the most creative costume ideas...but lately? Meh. It just hasn't been high on the priority list. Last year, for example, I actually told people I was a "nudist on strike," when they complained about my normal attire. But this season, I've been invited to a massive costume party and was told that I HAVE to come dressed up. BOO!

So here's where you come in, dear readers. I need help! All creativity has left the building - I'm plumb tapped out. So what do you think I should be for Halloween? Obviously, there are the usual suspects: doctor/nurse, angel/devil, naughty school girl, witch, rock star, princess themes. But you know what I say to that? BORING! I could also try to do something more clever or "punny" like transforming into the "devil in the blue dress," or grabbing wings and a liquor bottle and calling myself a "barfly." A week or so ago, a guy friend and I discussed dressing up as Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston - but then we figured that would be a verrrry popular costume choice this year.

Other thoughts? I've considered going as the titular character from "Run Lola Run," primarily so I could don a crazy red wig. Plus, the outfit is super easy to pull together - black boots, cargo pants, grey tank top. Right now, however, I'm leaning toward dressing up as Joanna (Jennifer Aniston's character) from Office Space - one of my fave movies! It should be fairly easy. All I need is a green and white striped polo shirt, waitress apron, suspenders and flair - and voila! I have my own Chotchkie's uniform. Thoughts? Insight? What will you be dressing as this Halloween? Send me your stories! Also, I've mentioned this before, but I mentor for a refugee family and I'm taking the kids trick-or-treating next week. But before that, I have to help them design costumes. Any advice on hand-crafting kid costumes?

For giggles, I'm including two clips from Office Space, as well as some of the movie's more entertaining quotes.

* The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.

* No, not again. I... why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam?

* Good evening Sir, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.

* Excuse me? Excuse me, senor? May I speak to you please? I asked for a mai tai, and they brought me a pina colada, and I said no salt, NO salt for the margarita, but it had salt on it, big grains of salt, floating in the glass...

* Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

* I can't believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We're looking up "money laundering" in a dictionary.

* It was a "Jump to Conclusions" mat. You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor, and it would have different conclusions written on it that you could jump to.

* Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

By the way, I know they showed the typical vanilla-frosting sheet cake in the Office Space scene embedded above, but doesn't this sound like the perfect fall sweet treat? Consider this sugar-free recipe if any of your office comrades have an upcoming birthday!

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

More low calorie recipes here

Friday, October 17, 2008

Peddling Pies for Pushing Daisies

There are very few television shows that fall under my "Must-See TV" list. The Office, Lost, Brothers and Sisters and past seasons of Project Runway make the short list. But you know what other show I adore? Pushing Daisies. Hot dang, I missed this show.
If you haven't seen it yet, tune in next Wednesday night. You can also watch the previously-aired episodes on-line.
For those new to the Pushing Daisies world, it is a "forensic fairy tale" featuring Ned, an introvert piemaker with the ability to revive the dead. Ned - joined by his once-dead childhood sweetheart, Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and snarky private investigator pal, Emerson Cod - capitalizes on this gift and resuscitates murder victims long enough to solve the mystery of their death and collect any outstanding rewards.
So not only is this show a visual masterpiece, but I don't know that there is a more phenomenal cast on TV right now. I just love me some Chi McBride, who is outstanding as the cranky, vest-knitting Emerson. And Kristen Chenoweth is a hoot playing the lovelorn Olive Snook. In addition to the musical Ms. Chenoweth, there are several other Broadway veterans gracing the small screen. Tony Award winner Raul Esparza is a traveling homeopathic antidepressant salesman who frequents Ned's shop, while Swoozie Kurtz and Ellen Greene (Audrey!) play Chuck's eccentric aunts, former synchronized swimmers who hate leaving the house.
I'm concerned, though. I've heard that ratings haven't been particularly good following last season's strike-gutted run. So pretty please, people. Step away from The Hills and Rock of Love and all those crappy reality shows and give Pushing Daisies a shot. I mean, in the first episode of this second season, Olive escapes to a nunnery - paving the way for all sorts of Sound Of Music references. Recent mysteries have involved a revenge murder via a swarm of bees, a bunch of clowns dead at the hands of a surly anti-union French acrobat and an amorous pig running down a nun for rare Italian white truffles that were being secretly cultivated in a bell tower. HOW DO YOU TOP THAT??
Anyhoo, the only downside to the show is I've been craving a whole lot of sweet treats lately - which I blame entirely on the array of delectable desserts on display at The Pie Hole, Ned's humorously-named restaurant. A friend recently suggested we all start getting together each Wednesday night for Pushing Daisies viewing parties, with each person taking turns to bake a pie. It reminds me of the old days when I used to attend Sopranos parties, complete with wine and pasta. Yum!
Anyhoo, here are a few low-calorie, sugar-free pie recipes to get you through the long weekend or to prepare you for the next episode of Pushing Daisies.

Berry Cherry Pie
Nostalgic Apple Pie
Banana Cream Tart

And for fun, I'm attaching some clips of this awesome show. In the first, Chenoweth serenades the Sound of Music.
The second clip highlights some funny clips featuring everyone's favorite grouch, Emerson.
And the last features Chenoweth and Greene harmonizing on the They Might Be Giants hit, "Birdhouse in Your Soul." It just doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A wedding feast to blog about...

I'll never forget the first time I hit up an Indian dinner buffet. I was probably about 21 or 22 - and while I was already a fan of Indian cuisine, I hadn't yet experienced the joys of piling one item after another onto my plate, until it was a heaping mound consisting of all the various dishes. What I also learned that night? That too much Indian food makes my tummy hurt. Within a few hours of that meal, I remember lying down in my apartment, reeling from a bloated belly and a wicked headache.
Fortunately, I've since learned moderation. And now I can easily tackle an Indian buffet without feeling like I need to chug a bottle of Pepto Bismol afterward.
At least that was true until Sunday...when I gorged myself on both an Indian lunch and dinner buffet, topped off with cake, cocktails and appetizers.
As I mentioned in my last post, I went to a Hindu wedding ceremony this weekend. And it was fabulous. Seriously, the bride could not have been more gorgeous and the look of love and happiness in the groom's eyes when his wife arrived made even my Grinch heart grow three sizes. The ceremony itself was also beautiful, between the exchange of garlands, the holy steps around the sacred fire and the blessings from family and friends.
And the food - oh my goodness gracious, the food. There was a full lunch buffet following the ceremony which included naan, palak paneer, tandoori chicken, vegetable biryani, samosas, kheer and all sorts of other tasty treats. A few hours later, they put out some appetizers, which included masala dosa, poori, pakoras and more. And then there was the full dinner you see where I'm going with this? Needless to say, I was feeling pretty wretched Monday morning, as well as about 10 pounds heavier. And yet it was so, so worth it. The food was a-MAY-zing.

Lately, I've been noticing (and with great pleasure, I might add) that there are a growing number of sugar-free Indian food recipes on the Internet. Apparently, several of the top chefs have begun regularly using sucralose in their dishes. YAY! Here are a few examples, courtesy of Sanjeeve Kapoor - a Master chef, author and TV host - for any other Indian food fans out there.

1 cup grated skimmed milk cottage cheese
5 cups skimmed milk
A few strands of saffron
½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
2 teaspoons sucralose
10-12 pistachios, halved
Heat milk in a pan and cook till it reduces to half the original quantity. Add saffron and green cardamom powder to the reduced milk and mix. Add the grated cottage cheese and cook on low heat for another two minutes. Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool. Add sucralose and mix gently. Refrigerate and serve chilled, garnished with pistachios.

7½ cups skimmed milk
100 grams roasted whole wheat vermicelli
1 tablespoon ghee
A few strands of saffron
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (chironji)
½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
A pinch nutmeg powder
6 teaspoons sucrolose
3-4 almonds, blanched and slivered
3-4 pistachios, blanched and slivered
Boil milk till reduced to three fourths its volume. Heat ghee in a kadai. Add the vermicelli and stir gently. Add reduced milk and mix. Add saffron, sunflower seeds, green cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and cook for about five minutes. Add sugar substitute, almonds and pistachios and mix. Taste for sweetness and serve hot.

By the way, while people didn't spontaneously break out into song and dance at the reception this weekend, there was some great music and a lot of women in beautiful and colorful sari garments. So for a little taste of what a Hindu marriage reception is like, watch this clip from "Bride and Prejudice," an Indian/British/American romantic musical that closely follows the plot guessed it! Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Danke Schoen, Darling...

So, this weekend is kind of a dream come true - at least in the food lover's sense. Tomorrow, for example, I'm heading up to Helen, Georgia for an Oktoberfest celebration...which means all the Bavarian beer, wiener schnitzel and bratwurst I can digest. On Sunday, I'm attending an Indian wedding reception and you just KNOW I will be all up on those plates of palak paneer, biryani and naan. Yes, indeed...I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend.

So here's a little more information about all things Helen, GA. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, the former logging town is a recreation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. Or as my cousin's wife says with disdain, "It's like a Disney World depiction of Germany...for people who've never been there." She's a German native, by the way. Still, I kind of really want to see the place. I mean, I like Disney World - even if it is total cheese! Plus, once I heard that my friends had rented a "booze bus" to take everyone there and back, I was sold. So I'll be following up Monday, hopefully with some fun and delicious stories from the weekend.

In the meantime, here are a few low-calorie, sucralose-sweetened German recipes. Next week, I'll sweeten the pot with some low-cal, sugar-free Indian food recipes.

German Chocolate Cake

German Apple Pancakes

German Potato Salad

Black Forest Cake

Now, here is an amusing German-related movie clip from an '80s hit comedy. If you thought it was the "Danke Schoen" scene from Ferris Bueller, you'd be wrong! Two clues: Clark and Griswold. Happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why mess with something so Absolutely Fabulous?!

Eddie: Well, I don't have to go to a plastic surgeon to keep my body together, do I. No, no, no. Because I want to tell ya, I've got my fantastic bone structure. I am thin and gorgeous!
Penny: Thin? Ha!

Apparently, Fox is working on a U.S. remake of "Absolutely Fabulous," a '90s-era British comedy that remains one of my favorite all-time shows. And part of me wants to be excited about this, especially since it seems that Jennifer Saunders will actually be involved with the project. On the other hand, how can you even attempt to replace the irreplaceable original cast?!

According to news sources, the new Ab Fab would be set in L.A. but retain the basic template of the original, revolving around the friendship of two boozy, over-40 best friends who are desperate to stay hip and youthful. A show brilliant in its uncensored bad behavior and satirical humor, the series featured the amazing Saunders and Joanne Lumley as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone, two hard-drinking, substance-abusing, selfish and immature Londoners. Their cruel humor served as a relection of the hypocrisy of current society, and often came at the chagrin of Edina's more moral and conservative daughter, Saffron.

There was also a running gag about weight. Edina, for example, would often embark on various diets of water and meat in an effort to shed a few pounds. Patsy, on the other hand, was seldom seen consuming anything other than a cigarette or cocktail. Irreverant and hilarious - that was Ab Fab.

So to honor our favorite misbehavin' Brits, I've included a few sugar-free cocktail recipes (courtesy of Hungry Girl) to get you through the week. If those don't interest you, simply raise a flute of Patsy and Eddy's favorite drinks, Bolly Stolly (Bollinger champagne and Stoli vodka) or Dom & Bom (Dom Perignon champagne and Bombay Sapphire gin) in the hopes that Fox gets this one right.

Kickin' Key Lime Pie Martini
1.5 oz. lime-flavored vodka (like Finlandia Lime or Smirnoff Twist of Lime)
1 oz. Torani Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
2 tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. Cool Whip Free

Place all ingredients in a martini shaker with 1 cup ice (crushed ice works best). Cover the top of the shaker, and shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy!

Black Cherry Mamba Mojito
3/4 cup diet lemon-lime soda
1 shot (1 1/2 oz.) light rum
1/8 tsp. Kool-Aid Black Cherry Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix
12 mint leaves
4 dark sweet cherries (fresh and pitted or thawed from frozen)
1/4 lime, cut into slices
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (we like Splenda!)
5 - 8 ice cubes

Remove seeds from lime slices. Then muddle (aka pulverize) the mint, lime and cherries in a glass. Add the soda, rum, Kool-Aid, and sweetener. Stir well. Add ice and enjoy!

Finally, here's a hilarious clip showing one of the few times Patsy is ever seen consuming actual food. Enjoy!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Why I will not eat too much spanakopita this weekend

In case you needed another reason to put down the jumbo-sized bag of tortilla chips, here goes...apparently binge eating can make your brain go haywire. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (shout out to my alma mater!!), overeating could literally kick-start the type of damage that causes diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses. The new findings - which have been reported in the journal Cell - show that overeating appears to activate a usually dormant immune system pathway in the brain, sending out immune cells to attack and destroy invaders that are not there. Scientists say this could help explain why obesity causes so many different diseases. It might also offer a way to prevent obesity itself.

Okay. So while it sounds like these guys hope to eventually find a drug or gene therapy that prevents all this from happening, I'm thinking it's just another excuse to practice healthy eating habits and not indulge in every delicious item put in front of me. Putting it into yet another perspective...the economy is pretty lousy these days. And I certainly don't have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe once my pants get too tight!!

However, I may have to allow myself just a wee bit of wiggle room on Sunday, when I stop by Atlanta's Greek Festival. I love me some souvlaki, pastitsio, tiropita, rice pilaf and spanakopita! I know, I know...I'll be good. But you KNOW I will be enjoying at least one plate of food.

By the way, looky what I found! A sucralose sweetened, low calorie baklava recipe. OPA!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Garden of good and evil, indeed!

When it comes to food, let's just say Savannah has got the "good and evil" combination covered. It's all so tasty and yet so high in cholesterol!
As mentioned in my previous post, I spent the past weekend in Savannah. LOVED IT! We seriously ate and drank our way around the city. Some of the weekend's highlights? Coffee and beignets at Huey's, a "ghost tour/pub crawl," listening to Nina Simone's daughter sing at the jazz festival in Forsyth Park, my friend getting booed off the stage at a karaoke bar, people-watching in City Market, an afternoon trip to Tybee Island so we could dip our toes in the water, an interesting conversation with an angry Czech man at a bar on the river, strolling through the beautiful squares and touring some of the historic homes and a fabulous lunch at Soho South Café (try their tomato basil bisque and brie sandwich). Also high on the list of, well, highlights was our dinner at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. While the process of making reservations was a royal pain in the tuchus, the meal was so, so worth the wait. We ordered the "Southern Buffet," which included fried chicken that literally melted in the mouth, uber-cheesy mac and cheese, some of the best mashed potatoes I've ever had the pleasure of eating, green beans, collard greens, yams, black-eye peas, a salad bar and more. I'm salivating just thinking about it. The meal also included dessert (I tried the dee-lish banana puddin,' while another friend ordered the peach cobbler.) All I have to say is, it's a good thing we decided to then walk from one end of the city to another, because without that post-meal activity, I don't know we would have ever been able to move again. The food was that rich...and that yummy. Oh and P.S., I also saw some people eating a spectacular chicken pot pie that I just might have to order next time I visit the restaurant.

Anyhoo, I'm bummed we had to leave, but in the interest of maintaining my waistline, it's probably a good thing.

So while I can't recreate the perfection that was our Paula Deen meal, I can try to pass on some sucralose-sweetened, low-cal recipe variations. Here you go!

Delicious Banana Pudding

Black-Eye Pea Salad

Double Crust Peach Cobbler

Also, in the hope of selling you all on visiting the wonderful City of Savannah, here's a video I found on YouTube. Enjoy!