Turks and Caicos – Via Veneto

Eating With Ziggy

Via Veneto - Fetuccinne“Do you come with your own plunger” my friend Elizabeth wondered once she saw me unpack my equipment after running into each other in Via Veneto.  “Ahhm, not exactly, its actually my flash diffuser”.  I realized right then that I need to add a new flash diffuser to Santa’s list (sitting besides me was the actual island Santa so it was convenient), right between a new car and Mensch on a Bench.  This was actually an improvement over last year when I borrowed my brother’s camera bag which had sort of peculiar male genital shape.  To any patrons after a few Chiantis sitting there it may have looked like I was  really happy to be there.  This year I walked everywhere with a plastic bag.

I’ve been waiting to eat in the new Via Veneto for almost a year, after just missing the coming out party in the spring.  Luckily…

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“Life has alot …

“Life has alot of lily pads you have to jump and focus on your own path. Only you know and control your destiny”
-Lola Nefertari

I wrote this quote because in life we deal with alot and we get stuck.. We are afraid to go forward and in order to live life we must learn to cope and keep going. Hurdles aren’t a life sentence. Its a brief moment and  can be survived.

Don’t let events in your life stop you from living and being the best you..

Be good. Smile. Dream. Sing. Laugh. cry. Have faith. Be strong. Live to be alive and not exist. Be the change you want to see in the world.

                                Love ,

                   Darling Lola … 🙂

Turkey and Dumplings- What to do with leftover Turkey

Rhonda's Going to Hack Your Life So Hard


Excellent day-after use for leftover Turkey. It’s a hearty meal perfect for cold weather and is extremely low in cost.

You’ll need:

2 quarts of turkey stock (recipe on my blog!)
Leftover turkey (you decide how much.)
Fluffy dumplings recipe (below)

Bring turkey stock to a boil, while making fluffy dumplings.

Fluffy Dumplings:
3 cups Biscuit Mix
1/3 cup water
Mix together well. It should be the consistency of play doh or similar. It will be lumpy and this is the desired result.

Add chunks of leftover turkey to the boiling stock.

Roll the dumpling dough into golf ball sized balls and drop into the pot. They will expand temporarily, this is to be expected.

Cover the pot to steam-bathe the dumplings, stirring occasionally.

Continue cooking the dumplings until they begin to shrink and the broth thickens. They are done when they are back to the golf ball size approx…

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Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Wendy's Place

Cranberry cheesecake ginger crust-7

I had to make the most of this beautiful, relaxed weekend. No work for me Saturday and Sunday meant the time to dig into something extravagant for no reason except  to, well, there was no reason. Certainly not for the 10K+ calories loitering in my fridge.  Cranberries and port  seeped into my dreams these past weeks and begged to cover a dense cheesy  cake supported by a buttery, spicy, ginger snap crust.

Let’s do it I replied.

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Chicken Pho (Phở Gà)

It's More Than Just Pho

The time has come…I made pho!!

And can I just clarify to all: it’s is pronounced like “fuh,” not “foe.”  It drives me nuts when people say it wrong!

Also, I don’t use MSG.  For some reason, a lot of my friends asked me this when I told them I was making pho.  Pho restaurants typically use MSG to enhance the flavor of soup, but I am not a pho restaurant so I use good old sugar and fish sauce.

I had many requests from friends to make this, so I felt that it was high time I shared my version of the popular noodle soup.  Many of you may be accustomed to beef pho, but I personally prefer to make it with chicken.  I think it’s just because I like chicken better than beef in general.  You can totally substitute the chicken stock with beef stock; the pork bones with…

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Lady Gaga Performs ‘Do What U Want’ With R. Kelly At 2013 AMAs

Hollywood Life

If you thought Gaga arriving to the AMAs on horseback was her biggest shocker of the night, you clearly missed her insane duet with R. Kelly.

Lady Gaga lives for the applause, and she got her fill at the 2013 American Music Awards. No stranger to the AMAs stage, this year’s performance blew all others out of the water, pairing Gaga up with R. Kelly for an unbelievable performance of “Do What U Want.” And I really do mean unbelievable. I refuse to believe I saw what I saw.

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Pitbull Was The Perfect Host At The 2013 American Music Awards

Hollywood Life

Pitbull hosted the 2013 American Music Awards and he totally knocked it out of the park — here’s why!

Pitbull lived up to all of our expectations (and then some) this evening! From his hilarious opening monologue to his super sexy performance with Ke$ha, he totally rocked the honorable duty of hosting the 2013 American Music Awards. Is he free to do the Grammys, too?

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Pasta Taco Salad

DJ's Recipe Cafe

taco pasta salad


1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta…
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 bottle (16 ounces) Catalina or 16 ounces Western salad dressing


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add water and taco seasoning; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Rinse pasta in cold water and drain; place in a large bowl. Add beef mixture, cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato and olives; mix well. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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Recipe: Paleo Snickerdoodle Cookies

The Celiathlete

I love Snickerdoodles.  Seriously.  I loved it in the winter time when my mom would bake all the holiday cookies, bars, fudge, etc…and we’d have a literal smorgasbord to choose from each night for dessert.  One treat.  So…make your decision wisely.

Never failed.  I wanted the Snickerdoodles.

It has been years since I have had my mom’s homemade Snickerdoodles.  And she will probably never make them again, sadly, since she has since had to go gluten-free as well and has switched over to eating paleo.

Lo and behold…I came up with a solution.  You see, one of my running buddies is also on the paleo diet.  And I love, love, love to bake goodies for my run group.  I’ve been craving Snickerdoodles for awhile now, so today I decided that’s what I would make for my fellow runners.  But, I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy them, so I…

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Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Vegetarian Chilli

The Celiathlete

Ah, Jamie Oliver…I adore you.

Obviously.  Because when I went to Huntington, West Virginia, I made a point to go by Huntington’s Kitchen.

So, when I had some sweet potatoes that I needed to use up from my CSA bin this past week, my roomie suggested that I finally get around to making the vegetarian chilli recipe from your Web site.

We only needed a couple of items for the rest of the dish itself…so it was on!!

What I love about this recipe is how much depth of flavor the roasted sweet potatoes add to this dish.  It’s indulgent, but guilt-free.  So healthy.  I think it might be my favorite chilli so far.

So…thank you, Jamie Oliver.

And for my followers and readers…here is the recipe:

Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Vegetarian Chilli

Servings: 6-8
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 50 minutes


  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, approximately 500g
  • 1 level…

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Oven-Baked Chicken & Dumplings w/Spinach Salad

Rhonda's Going to Hack Your Life So Hard


For the Baked Chicken, you will need:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 red onion, quartered
2 cups chicken broth
8 peeled carrots
Lowry’s seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
Large baking dish
Dumpling recipe (follows)

Pre-heat oven to 375f. Spray the baking dish generously. Season the sliced chicken with Lowry’s salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the dish. Add the chopped celery and quartered onions. Lay carrots on top, and pour in the chicken broth. Cover tightly with foil or dish cover. Bake for approx. 1 hour.
Prepare dumplings.

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Very cold water

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder well. Starting in the center, mix a small amount of water at a time until you have a ball of dough something to the consistency of play-doh…

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Stir Fried Bean Sprout (清炒豆芽)

brushes and papers

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope you don’t forget to eat your veggies too during this festive season.  I have a very simple stir fried bean sprout without anything added in it.  I am not sure if it is to your liking or if you know what bean sprouts are.  It made from sprouting mung beans.  Commonly seen in Asian cuisine.  It can be stir fried or with some tofu/meat in it or stuff it in spring rolls.

Stir fried bean sprout only takes 5 minutes preparation and 5 minutes cooking time.  Just stir fry it briefly in a very hot oil wok, add a tea-spoon or two of soy sauce and few drops of sesame oil if you like it.  Enjoy.

bean sprout1

bean sprout2

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Jenny's Adventures

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

from the Better Homes and Gardens website


  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin or fresh *see below*
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crushed
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sage leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
2. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir…

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Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies


Double Dar Chocolate Shortbread

Attention all chocoholics: this cookie is going to be your new fave! Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies are melt-in-your-mouth goodies with a delicate outer crunch. With a short list of ingredients, and dough that can be stored in the fridge or freezer till you’re ready to bake, they’re perfect for the busy holiday times ahead.

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” There’s an ar…

” There’s an art to living and it doesn’t employ those who simply wish to exist”



As i get older i learn that there is an art to living. Living is not just existing its ownership in loving the person you are, learning to love a person the way you want or should be loved. Living is trying new things and exploring, meeting new people and making new memories. Having faith in what you believe in. Having sympathy and having a warm heart despite the trials and tribulations, appreciating nature and the natural. Everything has a purpose and lesson. Never stop learning. Don’t exist be in  presence for the earth has blessings and amenities that one could not imagine.