Issue #2 Best Buys of 2021
Rum Cake and Savannah Travel Guide
The latest edition of my newsletter includes the best products I purchased in 2021. Please feel free to comment with your best buys this year.
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Behind the Curtain
Kevin Belton's Cookin' Louisiana: I gave this cookbook to my mom. We enjoy watching Kevin Belton's New Orleans Kitchen on PBS.
Happiness is Christmas: Kristen Chenoweth
Book of Ephesians: Pastor Dale Partridge is leading an eight-week study through the book of Ephesians to bring believers deep into the hope we have in Christ. You can start at any time.
“The Matrix Resurrections”
Plus, one reader recommendation:
“American Underdog” is based on the True Story of Kurt Warner.
BEST BUYS of 2021
Here are the best products I purchased in 2021:
1. Aurora Liposomal Glutathione: I started supplementing with Liposomal Glutathione after reading Dr. Ben Lynch's book, Dirty Genes. He's a brilliant doctor. I have not been sick in a long time. It works. It also helps with the detoxification of the liver. This article published in Science Direct explains the efficacy of glutathione in the prevention of COVID-19 pneumonia.
2. Caddis Blue Light Blocking Glasses: I like this design of blue light-blocking glasses to protect my eyes from screen time. Caddis lenses block 45% of harmful blue light at and surrounding, the most harmful wavelength (455 nm). This is more than other brands. The lens is nearly clear, which is hard to do. The anti-reflective coating helps to mitigate reflections and glare. The coating is designed to prevent smudging.
3. Somavedic: This is a fantastic product to use in your home, hotel room, car or office for protection against harmful EMFs. I also place a glass or plastic water bottle next to the device for the night. I’ll drink the water room temperature the following morning and during the day. It helps with detoxification.
4. Sauna Space: My favorite sauna for gentle, effective detoxification.
5. Living Libations Ozonated Healthy Gum Gel: I use this gel to help receding gums.
6. Ice Cream Maker: This machine is easy to clean. I love the old-fashioned ice cream makers, but they require salt and ice. This device makes ice cream without salt and ice.
7. GE Opal Ice Maker: I purchased this ice machine on Amazon Prime Day. It makes ice fast and makes a drink cold, quickly. I use the ice for lattes, smoothies, and other beverages.
8. Lululemon Fleece Running Tights: Since I like to run, I needed some warm tights for Baltimore and my layovers in the winter months. This pair from Lululemon is not only warm but comfortable.
9. Panther Coffee East Coast Espresso: This is the espresso I use at home with my Breville espresso maker. Panther Coffee is located in Miami.
10. Thera O3 Bubbler: I use this device for food and water sterilization.
11. Silent Pocket Faraday Sleeve for iPhone: I use the silent pocket Faraday Sleeve for privacy protection.
12. Thera O3 Air Tech: This portable device is an affordable option for ozone therapy. There are so many benefits to ozone therapy. Read more about ozone therapy here.
The Golden Carrot boutique vintage jewelry store
West Palm Beach
Composition Coffee House
Coral Gables and Brickwell
Veracruz All Natural: best breakfast tacos in town.
This is my favorite cake to make this time of year.
*Substitute with AP flour if you are not making gluten-free.
1 ½ cup chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons butter (melted)
3 cups gluten-free flour or unbleached AP sifted, plus more for dusting the pan. *I use Cup 4 Cup GF Flour or Auntie’s Gluten Free Flour.
2 teaspoons instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup olive oil
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 large eggs
½ cup dark rum
1 cup sour cream
½ cup (1 stick butter)
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
¼ dark rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick spray and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess.
To toast pecans, melt butter in microwave bowl. Toss nuts in butter and spread evenly on cookie sheet. Place in oven for 10 minutes, tossing at half the time (5 minutes) to ensure even toasting. Remove from oven. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of prepared cake pan.
Mix together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the olive oil, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the rum and mix until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour mix on low speed until blended after each addition.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, turning the pan after 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 60 minutes; then invert the cake onto a raised wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool completely. Prick top with toothpick or skewer.
Make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and rum and heat over low heat, stirring, until thoroughly combined.
Spoon and brush glaze slowly and evenly over top and side, pausing to allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until all the glaze is used.
For my celiac and gluten-free friends, I created a resource guide with links to my favorite gluten-free products. I also include a search engine to find the best places to eat.
TRAVEL NOTES: SAVANNAH
Savannah is the perfect weekend getaway and a great road trip for Floridians. I've stayed at Mansion on Forsyth Park. The historic hotel is conveniently located across the street from Forsyth Park. The hotel is also home to the 700 Kitchen School where you can take a hands-on cooking class.
Start your day with a jog or walk through the picturesque Forsyth Park. One of the most photographed spots in Savannah is the fountain at Forsyth Park. The Forsyth Farmer's Market is held on Saturday mornings.
Savannah is home to so many great restaurants. The Grey Restaurant is a much buzzed-about restaurant located in a renovated bus terminal. Zunzies is a great option for lunch. For a unique dining experience, Mrs. Wilkes features a round table buffet of Southern food in a historic old boarding house. The restaurant is only open for lunch M-F. The Green Truck Pub has great burgers and fries. The cupcakes at Back in the Day Bakery are delicious for a sweet treat. The owners have a beautifully illustrated cookbook featuring all the bakery recipes plus handy baking tips.
Savannah has many great boutiques; most are located along Broughton Street. My favorites include the Paris Market, One Fish Two Fish, and Copper Penny. After your downtown shopping stroll, you can enjoy homemade ice cream at Leopold's or a French macaron at Marche de Macarons. For a live show, visit the Savannah Theatre. Finish your evening with a dessert or hot toddy at Lulu's Chocolate Bar. I recommend a ghost tour with Blue Orb Tours for a late-night thrill.
A few other recommendations:
Savannah Architectural Tour
One-Fish Two-Fish is my go-to boutique for Mignonne Gavigan jewelry. The shop also carries a great selection of items for your home and fabulous gifts.
Terra Cotta Boutique
Cup to Cup Coffee
Fox and Fig Cafe
The Old Pink House
Clarey’s Cafe is a local favorite for breakfast
Fox and Fig Cafe *V *GF menu
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The best cookbooks of 2021.
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A terrific travel guide to St. Simon's Island, Georgia.
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The best movies of 2021. Which ones did you enjoy?
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P.S. Share what you read, watched, heard, or did that made you think twice in the comments.