905bb6eff125ed45baec0cf0ac4e97bc_six_columnOn this day in 2007, the 8th PIXAR film, RATATOUILLE was released by Walt Disney Pictures.  As I think back, it’s the last movie I went to see in a theatre.  I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was completely void of social or political “agenda”.  Few films, including Disney / Pixar releases of late, can say that.  I’m tired of movies, even the ones for kids, pushing a particular leftist agenda off on the youth.  I just want to be entertained – that is ALL.  That’s my agenda…  and it’s the agenda of many others, including Lucinda Berry Hill.  ❤MY AGENDA

Ratatouille was directed by Brad Bird, who took over from Jan Pinkava in 2005.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know that ratatouille was a French dish – or that the main character in the film would be…  a rat.  It was so cute and cleaver!  RATatouille – and Remy is a RAT.  Who thinks of this stuff?

I’ll do my best not to spoil the ending for you – but basically, Remy the rat has a goal to become a chef.  He goes about achieving this dream by making friends with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.  I can’t remember his name – hey, it was 2007, give me a break.  Anyway…  Ratatouille was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States and enjoyed box office success!  It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, among other honors.

Will Remy realize his lifelong dream of becoming a renowned French chef???  Why would I spoil the ending for you?  I know – most of you have probably seen it.  If you have small children you may have seen it more than once and less than a hundred times.  I don’t like everything Disney does (okay, don’t smack me) – but this is one movie that gets two thumbs up – really high – from me.

Have you made ratatouille?  There are a bunch of ingredients, but it’s so worth the expense and the time because it tastes so good and is so healthy.  I found the link for Disney’s recipe – did not know there was a recipe from the movie – but here it is!


I’m thankful for the odd movie that is just cute and fun for everyone without political correctness injected or obvious agenda pushing parts.  Are those days over?  I hope not.  I’m looking forward to the next really good movie from Disney and Pixar.  🙂






On the last day of NATIONAL FIG WEEK, let’s take a look at the possibilities when we pair figs with the big bird – the TURKEY for Thanksgiving!  I know every woman in America has her own special way to do the bird, but if you’re looking to change it up – here’s a little spin on traditional Thanksgiving cooking.


serves 8


1 12-15 lb. turkey

1 gallon apple cider

5 C. chicken or vegetable stock

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

fig, pear and balsamic compote

1/2 C. olive oil

1 large red onion, diced

2 C. dried figs, chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 ripe pear, cored and chopped

Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

1/2 C. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper


Two days before Thanksgiving, rinse and pat dry defrosted turkey.  Place in roasting pan and fill pan with as much apple cider as it will hold.  Cover and put in refrigerator, periodically rotating turkey during the two days so all parts soak in the cider.

On Thanksgiving Day, remove turkey from marinade and discard all but 2 cups of cider.  Set aside reserved cider to use for basting.

Rub compote mixture under skin of marinated turkey, especially covering breast meat.  Season turkey exterior and cavity with salt and pepper.  Place on rack in covered roasting pan.  Roast at 350 degrees F. for 4 – 4 1/2 hours, using pan juices and reserved cider for basting.  You don’t need to use all the reserved cider.

Uncover turkey the last 45 minutes of roasting.  Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 185 degrees F.  Make sure thermometer doesn’t touch the bone.  Remove turkey from oven and let rest, covered, while preparing sauce or gravy.

Combine pan juices with 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.  Simmer until reduced to 2 cups liquid, about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  For a thicker consistency, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1/2 cup stock and slowly whisk into stock.  Simmer until thick, about 5 more minutes.

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan.  Add red onion and cook over medium heat just until beginning to turn brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely.

 If you are not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for an army, you can use this same compote with turkey cutlets.  I’ve done that and cooked the cutlets in a skillet – it is still just as moist and tasty (there just are not as many leftovers).  🙂

Figs are fabulous!
Figs are fabulous!

I hope you have enjoyed NATIONAL FIG WEEK!  If you like these recipes, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks!  🙂





Did you know that the word parfait means perfect in French?  Keeping that in mind, it seems perfect to add whole grains and fruit to yogurt to create a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack!  Think of it as perfecting yogurt’s already considerable health benefits!

When the fat and calories are low, it can be a healthful choice at fast-food restaurants and coffeehouses.  But I like to make my own, don’t you?

Even in the summertime I like the taste of apple and spice.  I know it’s usually something for the autumn, but this cool spicy granola will leave you with energy to get through a busy work day.  If you are a granola lover, give this recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it!

Apple-Cinnamon parfait

Makes 6 servings

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2″ chunks

2 Tbs. Splenda brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 containers (6 oz. each) Chobani 0% apple-cinnamon yogurt

1 cup cinnamon-raisin granola (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

  • In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in diced apples, Splenda brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cook 8-10 minutes, until slightly tender, stirring periodically.  Cool apples and store in an airtight container until using.
  • To assemble parfait, layer a scant 1/4 cup yogurt in the bottom of a cup or glass.  Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of granola on top, followed by 3 Tbs. of cooked apples.  Repeat layering.  Serve

Make sure you assemble the parfait just before serving so your granola will stay crunchy.

Per serving:  239 calories, 6g fat, 2 g sat fat, 11 g protein, 36 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 59 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol

The ingredients can be prepped on the weekend so assembly on a weekday morning is quick and effortless!  If you need a great breakfast or snack with carbohydrates that keep your brain from experiencing fog – here’s your solution! 

Fix-ahead recipes save a lot of time on a hectic weekday!  🙂




We plan, we toil, we suffer – in the hope of what?  A camel-load of idol’s eyes?  The title deeds of Radio City?  The empire of Asia?  A trip to the moon?  No, no, no, no.  Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.  – J.B. Priestly

There are bad words that begin with the letter B.  We won’t be reviewing those here – I’ll not waste time, gray matter or space to dignify those words.  I will, however, let you know one word that starts with B that will make you smile and want to heat up the skillet – BACON!!!

Today is BACON DAY!  Did you know bacon had a special day?  Well – it does!  Most Americans feel downright patriotic about bacon!

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?  – Lin Yutang

We don’t eat a lot of bacon since my husband had a heart attack a few years ago, but once in a while we use common sense and moderation with some foods, bacon being one of them.  Through the years I have seen some pretty weird things that have a bacon scent, such as:






just to name a few! 

There’s just something about the smell of bacon, isn’t there?  Oh – and have you seen the DIET COKE WITH BACON, or the BACON FLAVORED TOOTHPICKS?  If you can come up with a product that smells or tastes like bacon, you have a hit on your hands for sure!

Here is a Bacon Day Q & A:

Wasn’t that helpful and informative?  So what will you do to celebrate Bacon Day?  I thought of writing a poem, but all I heard was the sound of crickets in my head – so I just took a nap instead.  I was going to ask my friend Lucinda to write a poem about bacon, but I was afraid she would call the Wichita chapter of the men in the white coats to come and take me away.  I’m just kidding, she wouldn’t do that.

I did find this…

Wow – he’s really passionate about his bacon, eh? I think Lucinda and I should recite our poetry with bongo drums.  LOL!

And yeah – there’s a song about makin’ bacon pancakes.  Hee hee (hiccup – oh, sorry!)  Not bad manners, just good bacon…  😉

Well, I know that fried bacon is a temptation all by itself, but I like this recipe:



It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?


Click on the link below to get your copy!