Eliza convinced me to share my growing, cooking, and nutritional ideas with you.  Each week you will find a new one here, on my Facebook page, and in a Pinterest pin.  Enjoy!  Mrs. Claus

PS   At the end of the page discover more about the Eliza series of books.

Tip #13

I like to sauté in water rather than oil.  The water retains and actually adds moisture to the foods being sautéed. Their flavors intermix better through the water, too.  The pan is much easier to clean because the foods do not stick.  I have not found a downside in using water to sauté.  Try it.

Tip #12

I enjoy trying revisions to my recipes.  I just did a swap in the Pear Cranberry Crumble that turned out delicious.  I exchanged the orange for cherries.  Instead of all the orange, zest included, use one cup of cherries, fresh, frozen, or canned.  Fresh is best.  Be prepared for lots of oohs and aahs.  The combination is scrumptious.

Tip #11

If you are itching for spring so that you can get your hands in the dirt, try this.  Visit each of your houseplants, dig your fingers into the dirt surrounding their roots, and give them a gentle aeration.  They will appreciate your attention, and your fingertips will feel closer to spring.

Tip #10

Blueberries are helpful to your brain.  The blue-purple shrinks and heals.  Purple color that saturates further into the fruit offers more healing.  Drink blueberry juice or eat blueberries daily.

Tip #9

Instead of spreading your BBQ on buns, try potatoes or sweet potatoes.  You receive the benefit of the potato’s nutrients, particularly potassium, and the combination is easier for your digestive system to handle than buns.  When you start thinking of topping potatoes with saucy creations instead of smearing them on buns, you will come up with variations that are delicious and will astound you.  Enjoy!

Tip #8

What do I mean by changing an ingredient in a recipe?  You can add a completely new one such as a flavoring with another spice, exchange a current one for another such as swapping out almond flour for all purpose flour, or adjust the amount of an ingredient such as reducing the sugar.  Be willing to experiment.  You may or may not appreciate these changes.  Discovering the difference they make is fun!

Tip #7

I love the creativity of cooking. I enjoy finding a new recipe to try or tweaking one that I thought could use adjustment.  With less opportunity to be outside, this time of year offers a wonderful chance to browse through recipes and discover one you would like to make or a new ingredient to refresh one that you enjoy.  Either will stir your creative juices.  Browse away!

Tip #6

Make a recipe your own by adjusting the ingredients to your taste and including your own touch by adding or deleting ingredients.  I like to use fruits in season.  This recipe has my touch and brightens this time of year with the flavors of pear, cranberry, and orange.  Enjoy it warm or cold.

Cranberry – Pear Crumble Bars



  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 3 large pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. orange zest and a small amount of orange section
  • ½ tsp. finely grated fresh ginger


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. almond extract


  1. Combine cranberries, pears, and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, and bringing mixture to a boil. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until cranberries burst, pears disappear, and juices thicken.
  2. Add vanilla, orange zest, orange section, and ginger to cranberry mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 glass pan with parchment paper.
  4. Combine all-purpose flour, brown sugar, almond flour, and oats in a large bowl. Stir to combine.  Melt butter, add almond extract to butter, and stir the combination into dry ingredients until mixture is well-moistened.
  5. Reserve about 2 ½ cups of flour mixture. Pour remaining mixture into prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  6. Pour cranberry mixture evenly over crust. Top with reserved flour mixture and return to oven. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly, then cut and serve.  The remainder is wonderful served cold.

Tip #5

Keep your recipes simple.  Most have basic ingredients and add flavorings or techniques to make them special.  Before trying a new recipe, carefully read the ingredients list and the directions.  Do this several times so that you thoroughly understand what the recipe entails before you begin.  Encountering surprises part-way into making the recipe may not be fun.

Tip #4

Try one new cookie recipe each year.  Keep your interest in baking fresh by making a new creation – just one.  If you do more, you may become unhappy, give up on something new, and return to your favorites.  One new recipe piques your creativity.  Find one and bake it.

Tip #3

Each day eat lemon or lime either by mixing the juice with water or another beverage or by adding it to a dish. Lemons and limes have highly absorbable vitamin C and bioactive calcium. Phytochemicals in these fruits called limonoids bond this vitamin C and calcium together so that your body receives the benefit of both and helps prevent cancer by increasing your body’s alkalinity.

Tip #2

Grow your plants in a circle. Plants grown in a circle tap into each other’s energy, boosting their own and sharing with their fellow plants. They are happier being together.

Tip #1

The next time you eat a raw fruit or vegetable, hold it in your hand for thirty seconds before enjoying it so that it can sync with your energy. When you connect its cells with your being, your body gets more out of eating it.


Find out more about the Eliza Series and buy the books here.

Listen to the first chapter of Trouble at the North Pole

Listen to an Invitation from the Author of Trouble at the North Pole

Listen to an Invitation from the Author of The Last Christmas Tree