Apple Dip Ups the Ante Hey Shuga! sweetness of sugarcane

Apples are oh so in. The calendar reads they are the seasonal fruit and to chop’em, slice’em, bake’em, cover in caramel and nut topping, or bask in the glory of the detoxifying elements and eat them plain or simply coat the slices in cinnamon.

Whatever you do, don’t serve them up with plain Jane peanut butter, the apples long time evident protein partner.

Here’s an equally as healthy of a dip to decorate the slices with for anyone who can’t go about their affairs without the crutch of chocolate and who wants the pleasure of all of that peanut butter protein.

img_08991Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and melt in a pan on the stovetop. Take a large spoon and add your favorite all natural creamy peanut butter. I didn’t measure because measuring peanut butter is as fun as … (insert a task you dread here). Stir, stir, stir and grab a regular sized spoon and add the unsweetened cocoa powder. I splashed in about a teaspoon of vanilla and I added a splash of this unrefined, vegan friendly, gluten free sweetener I snagged at the grocery store.


Hey Shuga! A Balanced Sweetener for a Balanced Life made from the sweetness of the sugarcane, the warmth of the Caribbean, and the passion of hard working people.

The sugarcane blasts the bitterness of Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa without having to add chocolate chips. I melted all of the ingredients together and then stirred in Bob’s Red Mill Old-Fashioned gluten-free, Kosher certified, vegan rolled oats (about 2/3 Cups) until the compactness of this chocolate concoction was consummated. If you opt out of oats unsweetened coconut flakes will create a neat consistency.


I served up one generous spoonful of the deceptive snack with the slices of half of an organic Fuji apple. You can adjust the amount depending on the horde of hungry individuals around.


Josie is an award-winning journalist and healthy eating enthusiast.

Save and Savor the Squash Seeds cubes to cut the cravings

Detox before the dinner.

Thanksgiving is upon us. Which has many wondering and thinking about how to enjoy the season and all of the flavors that accompany the yearly family feast around the table without guilt, added weight, or overindulgence.

Simply cut out the calories before the day. Do this NOW while we’re still over one week away.

I realize the thought of being hungry or missing out on the mid-day munch fest of candy and carbs sends pains through most people’s bodies.

I detox. A lot. At least three times a year for six weeks straight. Coffee, chocolate, meats, and cheese are all cut out. Tossed to the curb.

Here’s the snack that transitions my body and cravings from starvation and survival mode to, “Hey world! I’m feeling spectacular!”


Take a large bowl and mix together the nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, rolled oats and lemon zest. The only work here is taking the seeds out of the Butternut Squash. But, I figured since most of us eat Spaghetti Squash anyway … might as well make use of those seeds. One Squash produces six tablespoons of seeds.


I scraped the seeds out of both halves of the squash and tossed them in a colander mesh and continued to separate the seeds from the vegetable continuously until they were all laid out and drying on a dish cloth.



You don’t have to do this. You can easily buy pumpkin and or sunflower seeds. I didn’t have any in the house and happened to be making Spaghetti Squash for dinner.

Zest the lemon. Approximately three-quarters of the peel of one lemon goes into this. If you don’t feel like zesting, squeeze and save the lemon juice and remove the insides and the pith then cut the peel up into tiny, tiny pieces. img_05911


I save all lemon juice to add later to water. Melt the two tablespoons of coconut oil and mix separately in a bowl with the honey. Grease a glass pan with coconut oil. Mix the oil and honey into the bowl with the nuts and seeds before transferring to baking dish greased with coconut oil.


Bake at 350 degrees, cool and refrigerate overnight. The following day remove from the fridge and cut into one by one inch cubes. Or, if you choose to use a rectangle glass baking dish you can cut these into bar form. Just look at the texture. The taste is thrilling.


I scooped them out of the dish with a spoon and arranged on a snack tray.


img_07761When I first started noshing on these bite sized snacks that pack a powerful punch of nutrition and flavor I purchased a tiny container of about fifteen pieces in the produce section at Cleveland’s downtown Heinen’s for $5.99. Wash down with an entire liter of San Pellegrino, Perrier, or lemon water for true benefits of feeling full and fresh. Play around with the nuts and added ingredients. If raisins are your rage stir them in. Crushin’ on cranberries? Add them in! The ingredient that gives this dish the zing is the lemon zest. Orange would add the same oompf to give these nutritious nut bites a citrus kick.

I thought about drizzling melted caramel into the pan to kick this up a notch, but I already went all-out with that sugary snack here and this is all about the once dreaded detox.

Josie is an award-winning journalist and healthy eater enthusiast.

An Appearance for Ohio’s Aqueous Adventures muddy ground and soused sidewalks overcome with opulence

Pictures by Edmund Gudenas and Matt Anderson

“Don’t stand over there,” photographer Ed Gudenas advised in his Nikeys at the onset of the shoot. “There’s water everywhere!”

Waves from Lake Erie were splashing up onto the deck of the Miller Boatline Ferry headed for the mainland soaking every car and truck aboard as well the stainless steel deck we were standing on.

img_02561Newport Dry Goods on Catawba Island is where shoppers seeking style can find Joules, a premium wellie boot made for those who ride.

“They are designed in the UK kind of with the equestrian in mind. They’re really built to last. They’re super tough. They’re waterproof. I have a pair myself that are seven-years old, and they’re still waterproof. I wear them all of the time,” offered Anne-Marie Burlingame about this designer fall and winter footwear brand.


The terrain on the islands and mainland aren’t always dry this time of year. Canvas shoes aren’t conducive to the conditions. Spasmodic weather can create a cramp in style. Coastal Ohio’s on-again-off-again weather, paired with ferry rides to our remote Lake Erie Islands, leaves us ladies hurting for all-weather gear. Gear that protects our feet and the glamour in us.


These Premium Joules Wellies’ claim to fame is that they’re right as rain and can outwit the weather. In 2015 I sensibly skimped on the cost and picked up a name brand pair at an outlet which only lasted two months before tearing.

Burlingame knows the game and offered her insight, “a lot of people make the mistake of getting the cheaper boot which doesn’t have the support for their feet then their back starts to hurt, or like your boots they fall apart and they tear and then you have wet, soggy feet which nobody wants.”

So, I flung my money into the Evedon Premium Wellie fashion from the United Kingdom, ($165.95) and considered this an investment into the tire-inspired outsole for effective water dispersal and grip. The bow on the back and enamel plaque on the front adds just the right extravagance for Ohio’s bespattered spots.

Josie in a former tv anchorwoman, expanded a newspaper into Key West, opened the nation’s southernmost newsroom, and completed her digital media training with CBS Cleveland.