Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin A – Carrots, Liver, Apricots, Trout. Eggs, Frittata


Welcome to the rewind of this series from 2019 where we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

I recently shared a series on the nutrients the body needs which included a print off shopping list of foods that contain what the body needs to be healthy The Alternative Shopping List.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods... ‘Cooked from Scratch.

Before we cover the first vitamin today…. a little bit about the difference between fat soluble and water soluble vitamins.

Water Soluble Vitamins

These include all the B vitamins, vitamin C as well as Folic Acid. They are not easily stored in the body and are often lost in cooking or by being eliminated from the body. This means that they must be consumed in constant daily amounts to prevent deficiencies. In the case of Vitamin C this could lead to poor immune system function and if you are deficient in the B vitamins you will not be able to metabolise the fat, protein and carbohydrates that you eat.

Fat Soluble Vitamins.

These vitamins include A, D, E and K. Because they are soluble in fat they tend to be stored in the body’s fat tissues, fat cells and liver. This means that they should be supplemented with care if you are already taking in plenty on a daily basis in your diet. In excess even supposedly beneficial nutrients can be toxic and this is why you always should adjust your diet first before taking in additional supplements.

A good place to start is with Vitamin A – Beta Carotene.

What is Vitamin A – Beta Carotene is essential for?

Vitamin A is essential for our healthy eyesight, especially at night, hence the name retinal from retina. The retina contains rod cells and these contain pigments that can detect small amounts of light and therefore adapt the eye to low-light or night vision or are responsible for our day time vision. Vitamin A is particularly necessary for the synthesis of rhodopsin the photo-pigment involved in night vision.

Vitamin A also helps ensure that our cells reproduce normally. It is necessary for the health of our skin, the mucus membranes in our respiratory system, digestive and urinary tracts. Our bones and our soft tissues require Vitamin A as part of the complex nutrient cocktail that keeps them from disease.

For younger people, Vitamin A has a direct influence on their reproductive capabilities. It has been shown to have an effect on the function and development of sperm, ovaries and the placenta. The growth and normal development of the embryo and then the foetus depends on a good level of the vitamin in the diet.

Our immune system is our first line of defence and it requires a combination of anti-oxidants and nutrients to be robust enough to cope with the stress of modern life and disease. Vitamin A is vital for this protection system as it stimulates the function of white blood cells within the immune system, encourages the production of antibodies to fight infection as well as increase our antiviral abilities.

It is rare to find a lack of the nutrient in someone with a varied and balanced diet but here are some of the of the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency.

  1. Dry flaky skin and related conditions such as eczema.
  2. Dry eyes and difficulty in producing tears and cornea damage in certain countries where deficiency is common it can lead to night blindness and also total blindness.
  3. Infertility problems for both men and women and a possible link to miscarriages.
  4. A vitamin A deficiency in pregnancy can lead to developmental issues for the fetus.
  5. Children who have a deficiency usually exhibit stunted growth but need to take with other nutrients to benefit from supplementation.
  6. Frequent infections, particularly of the throat and chest are a sign that there is a Vitamin A deficiency.
  7. The elderly or those with a compromised immune system, may be deficient in several nutrients, but Vitamin A deficiency is likely to lead to more severe respiratory infections, such as pneumonia.

If you feel that you are exhibiting the above symptoms moderately to severely then I do suggest you talk to your doctor and have a blood test.

As always it is better to consume foods that contain nutrients in a form that the body can process and use. However, where there is a severe deficiency, a supplement can also be taken to help restore the correct balance in the body.

Best food sources for Vitamin A The most abundant source of the vitamin is found:

  • liver,
  • fish liver oils,
  • grass fed dairy butter,(cattle’s natural food is grass not grain or corn)
  • cheese,
  • free range eggs
  • oily fish.

Beta carotene is the substance from plants that the body converts to Vitamin A and the best sources are:

  • carrots,
  • sweet potatoes,
  • green leafy vegetables,
  • orange and red coloured vegetables,
  • apricots,
  • asparagus,
  • broccoli,
  • cantaloupe melon,
  • cashews,
  • nectarines,
  • peaches,
  • peppers
  • spinach.

I am now handing over to Carol Taylor who has devised some easy to prepare recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient Vitamin A – Beta Carotene.

Welcome to this series on nutrients we need to be healthy and I am looking forward to providing the recipes for I hope you enjoy them. Not all meals need to be made from ingredients straight out of the shopping basket. Most of us have leftovers in the fridge or freezer, such as pasta, cooked vegetables, scraps of meat etc. And they can be utilised to make delicious meals that are just as nutritious.

Let’s make a Frittata.

Ingredients:

• 4 Organic free range eggs
• 1 tbsp Olive oil
• 3 small cold potatoes sliced
• 1 small onion sliced
• A handful of spinach
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup of milk
• Few mushrooms sliced
• Few slices salami or chorizo
• Grated cheddar cheese

Let’s Cook!

  1. Add oil to heavy bottomed pan /skillet and add cooked sliced potatoes cover with lid or foil and cook until golden. If you are using uncooked potatoes then cook for about 10 minutes until tender but firm.
  2. Meanwhile cook the salami/ chorizo…I like mine a little crispy.
  3. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until onion softens.
  4. Add any other vegetables you are using I added sliced tomato and Thai spinach which has finer leaves than the spinach I used in the UK but you could add anything else finely sliced peppers, asparagus leftover cooked vegetables anything you fancy.
  5. Beat the eggs with milk and season well.
  6. Pour over your potatoes and vegetables and lower the heat.
  7. Add the grated cheese.
  8. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set.

Turn out onto a plate and cut into portions. Serve with stir fried greens or red peppers, some sweet potato wedges or crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Stir Fried Vegetables.

Before I came to Thailand I was absolutely the worst at making any stir-fry and they tasted awful…Learning how to cook the Thai way has been a revolution for me and taught me so much about cooking and tasting…

Stir fries are not as easy as they look… Thais eat a lot of stir fried vegetables and this is one such dish.

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand. A very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared…5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

• 1 bunch of Morning Glory (spinach)
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 3 or more Thai Chillies
• 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
• 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans( Optional)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
• 1/4 cup fresh vegetable or pork stock

Let’s Cook!

  1. Wash and cut your morning-glory/spinach into 4-6 inch pieces.
  2. Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
  3. Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
  4. Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry (stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let garlic burn.
  5. Add morning-glory/spinach and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
  6. Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.

N.B. Experiment with your own stir fries using any of the vegetables listed as good sources of Vitamin A.

Fish is another source of vitamin A.

Salmon is a fish that is packed with Omega 3 oils and Vitamin A as well as other vitamins…

It can be cooked in foil which is my preferred way and easy to do. Quick and easy to do and cooks while the rice is cooking…

Salmon Trout: Ingredients

• 180 gm Trout or Salmon fillet.

For the topping:

• 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
• 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely… I use the stem as well.
• 1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped.
• 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
• A cheek of lime.

Let’s Cook

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Put fish on foil and spoon the topping on. I reserve some of the topping to add when serving.
  3. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

This is lovely eaten with rice and some stir fried morning glory or spinach.

Enjoy!

Sweet potatoes also contain Vitamin A and one of my favourite sweet potato recipes is this one…

Sweet Potato with feta, honey and roasted grapes: Ingredients:

• 4 baked sweet potatoes
• 2 cups of seedless red grapes
• 1 tsp of coconut oil or olive oil
• ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 oz of feta, goats cheese or ricotta
• Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
• 2 tbsp honey plus more to drizzle.

Let’s Cook

  1. Put the 2 cups of grapes on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper then roast at 350F for about 20 mins or until the skins start to burst…Make sure to check them as we don’t want them to burn.
  2. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Take your cooked cooled sweet potato and gently remove the flesh as the skins are softer than normal white potatoes. I normally leave some of the flesh attached as it is easier and just scoop out the middle.
  4. In a bowl mash the potato with 3 oz of the goat’s cheese, honey, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste then put the potato back in the skins and crumble some more goats cheese on top …

To serve: add the grapes and drizzle more honey if desired…

Enjoy!

Some tips on how to enhance your dishes with Vitamin A.

When layering your lasagne, pop some spinach between the layers. If you have some picky eaters in the family who don’t normally eat green vegetables, they will hardly notice the spinach mixed with the cheese and tomatoes.

Stuffed peppers (and other vegetables) are another way to get your Vitamin A and easy to do…

Peaches in season are another good source of Vitamin A, and again there is nothing better than a lovely stuffed peach. Just mix some oats with brown sugar, cinnamon and diced butter fill the middle and bake until soft…To die for…

One of the best sources of Vitamin A… liver.

If your family are not keen on eating fried liver which is a great source of Vitamin A, make it into a lovely pate with some crispy melba toast or chopped red, green and yellow peppers…and just don’t mention it is liver.

Liver Pate: Ingredients:

• 220g/8oz butter.
• 4 shallots chopped.
• 2 cloves, crushed or finely chopped.
• 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.
• 1 tbsp Brandy.
• 1 tsp mustard powder.
• salt and freshly ground black pepper.
• 1 bay leaf, to garnish.
• 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through.
  3. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To Serve

  • Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as I cannot always get fresh bay leaves.
  • Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.

Mackerel and salmon also makes a lovely pates.

©Recipes Carol Taylor

However busy your lifestyle, your health has to come first. You can prepare many dishes in bulk, freezing a portion for the following week. And is eating the same meal two nights in a row really such a bad thing?

As Carol has demonstrated, including sufficient Vitamin A in your diet is very tasty, and all these foods do not just have Vitamin A but a combination of others that will contribute to your overall requirement.

Please join us again in two weeks for the next post in the series when we will be looking at all the ways you can introduce Vitamin B1 into your regular diet.

About your hosts…

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

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Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – February 4th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Flying Companions.


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally

Nymphomaniacs Conference

A man seated next to a beautiful woman on a plane. Eager to start a conversation, he asks “Business trip or holiday?”

She smiles dazzlingly and tells him.” Business, I’m on my way to the annual nymphomaniac conference in New York”

Trying to stay cool, the man asks “What’s your role at the conference?”

Lecturer, she says, I use my experience to debunk some of the myths about sexuality.”

“Really?” the man asks. And what are those?

The beautiful woman explains “One is that African men are the well-endowed, when in fact it is the American Indian. Another is that French men are the best lovers when actually it’s the Greeks and I have also found the men most likely to impress in both categories are the Irish”.

“Blushing she added I’m sorry I shouldn’t be discussing this with you. I don’t even know your name”.

“Tonto” the man replied. “Tonto Papadopoulos, but my friends call me Paddy.

 

Thanks for visiting us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face..Debby and Sally…

 

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – February 2nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Wine Day and One Liners


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally’s Archives

Some more one liners…

  • Two aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – get married. The ceremony was rubbish – but the reception was brilliant.
  • Doc, I can’t stop singing the ‘Green Green Grass of Home’. He said: ‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome’. ‘Is it common?’I asked. ‘It’s not unusual’ he replied.
  • I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.
  • A man walks into a bar with a roll of tarmac under his arm and says: ”Pint please, and one for the road.”
  • I went to the doctors the other day and I said, ‘Have you got anything for wind?’ So he gave me a kite.
  • My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.
  • I saw this bloke chatting up a cheetah; I thought, ”He’s trying to pull a fast one”.
  • I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.
  • A jump-lead walks into a bar. The barman says ”I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything”
  • Slept like a log last night…….. Woke up in the fireplace.
  • A priest, a rabbi and a vicar walk into a bar. The barman says, ”Is this some kind of joke?”
  • A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says ”Sorry we don’t serve food in here”

 

Thanks for visiting us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. thanks Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 27th – October 3rd – Don Shirley, Salsa, The Pack, Books, Reviews, Health and Laughter.


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed this week.

The weeks may be flying passed rapidly as we head into autumn and nature at least seems to be keeping to its schedule.. The news headlines are not improving with regard to Covid 19 and it seems that even those who have levels of protection we are not provided still are at risk. Our own Prime Minister and other cabinet members have been infected and certainly judging by the fatigue and signs of stress they are all showing, it is not something you bounce back from overnight.

All is relatively quiet in the Emerald Isles except for isolated clusters but cases have been on the rise, and hitting the younger demographic. Possibly because every person in my age bracket is wearing a mask and the majority gloves to do their shopping and stepping around each other in the supermarket in some quirky form of the samba.

The young feel invincible, and it is understandable that they are frustrated with the restrictions. Surely if they are bright enough to go to college and university, they are bright enough to understand that having 1000 strong rave until 2.00 in the morning with lots of physical contact, singing and shouting at each other over the noise of the music, and sweating as they dance, is not going to be boycotted by the virus.. Despite the fact most of the music would keep me away.

Then they wonder why there is a spike in infections two weeks later… perhaps commonsense is not on the curriculum!

Anyway enough of the grumpy old woman!

Classic Editor

On a brighter note I am hop, skipping and jumping all over the place to keep my classic editor going.. At least for the time being I still have the option and hopefully they will keep their promise until December 2021. It does involve remembering to click down options and select the classic version so you need to keep your wits about you.

Revisit to Author Interviews.

I am also doing a tidy up of my files and revisiting guest interviews over the last five years. Where information is reasonably current I am updating with the authors books and reviews and will be posting a selection of interviews on Sunday’s once the current series finishes on October 11th. The posts will take us nicely up to Christmas (sorry about using that word!) and then I will think about a new interview theme for the New Year…

My thanks as always to William Price King and Carol Taylor for their amazing contributions this week, and to you for all the support…

William Price King with Classical and Jazz Pianist Don Shirley #TheGreenBook

A – Z of Food ‘S’ for Satay, Salsa, Salmagundi, Sage, Squid and Salt Hoss

Shake the Dust off your Feet by Sherri Matthews

Chapter Nine – Other Pack Members and Respect your Elders

#Ireland #1930s – Divine Guidance

Some very odd jobs – The Shoe Department.

The Cosmetic Department

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Steak House Part One

October 1985 – Have a Nice Day… In the Big Apple

fruit and veg banner

Part Two – Nitrate and Potassium foods and wholegrains -Get your blood flowing

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Oils, origins, uses and Safety – Part One

#Supernatural Adventure Eternal Road: The Final Stop by John W. Howell.

Past Book Reviews – #ParanormalThriller John W. Howell and Gwen Plano, #Thriller Toni Pike.

Share your review – Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space by Toni Pike, Reviewed by D.G. Kaye

#Thriller, Donovan: Thief for Hire: The Body on the Underwater Road by Chuck Bowie

#Psychologicalthriller – Becoming Insane by Leyla Cardena

#Poetry Denise O’Hagan, #Historical Allan Hudson, #Novel Margaret Lindsay Holton, Dystopian Terry Tyler

#Western Jan Sikes, #Contemporary Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Richard W. Wise, New Release Anita Dawes

New Release #Family James J. Cudney, Reviews – #Thriller Susanne Leist, #Mystery Geoff Le Pard

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Wireless doorbells and Stud Fees

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – More Doorbells and a Talking Dog

October 2nd 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

 

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the posts… enjoy your weekend..thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Coffee Time Haiku – Spain – Bass Lie in Wait – Sally Cronin


As I go through my images from our travels, I am going to share some that I have published with the addition of a Haiku over the last few years. In the first posts in the series some from our 17 years living in Spain and exploring this ancient and fascinating country.

This is Parquelagos – the urbanization that we lived in for 17 years at 900 metres to the North of Madrid. Full of ducks and other wildfowl as well as huge bass.

©Sally Cronin

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoyed…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Coffee Time Haiku – Spain – A Fortified Town – Sally Cronin


As I go through my images from our travels, I am going to share some that I have published with the addition of a Haiku over the last few years. In the first posts in the series some from our 17 years living in Spain and exploring this ancient and fascinating country.

We often did road trips and the towns perched in defensible positions were intriguing.

©Sally Cronin

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoyed…thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Special Feature -#ProceedsCancerResearch – UNDERSTANDING: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events compiled by Stevie Turner and 18 other authors.


Author Stevie Turner has compiled articles from 19 authors on life experiences, traumas, challenges, and achievements in an anthology called ‘Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events‘. I am very honoured to be one of those authors.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Over the next week I will be posing a number of author profiles of those who have contributed and I hope that you will follow those authors and also support their work in this collection.

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers kindly answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

All proceeds will go to Cancer Research.

Thanks to:
Alienora Browning
Sally Cronin
Dorinda Duclos
Scarlett Flame
Bernard Foong
Darlene Foster
Janet Gogerty
Debbie Harris
Lucy V. Hay
Miriam Hurdle
Phil Huston
Pamela Jessen
Joe
D.G Kaye
Lynda McKinney Lambert
Jaye Marie
Clive Pilcher
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Beem Weeks

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p:https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

Editor and publisher of the anthology Stevie Turner who also contributed an article on Thyroid Cancer.

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Please visit Amazon or Stevie’s website to view all her books.

One of the authors who contributed to the anthology is non-fiction author D.G. Kaye who is a regular contributor and friend. Here is an brief extract from her entry in the anthology. You can read more on her post on the anthology

Daughter of a Narcissist

I may not have a PHD beside my name, but I’ve spent a lifetime analyzing my own mother’s debilitating narcissism.

When I was a young child, I had no concept of the meaning of the word narcissist, nor was I familiar with the word itself. I eventually learned that my mother’s behavior fit perfectly into that category.

I made it my business to observe her closely, question her lies (to my father, not to her), and learn to recognize her habits and exaggerations in her stories in order to first, figure out the real story by separating the truth of her words without her embellishments, and to try to understand what spurred her theatrical behavior.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

I have contributed an article on weight loss based on my experience of losing 150lbs 23 years ago. Here is a brief extract.

From Morbid Obesity to Health by Sally Cronin

In 1996, when I was forty-three years old, I weighed 336lbs (152kilo 24stone). My weight had fluctuated massively from the age of ten years old between being classified as obese and also underweight.

As a child I was a normal weight for my age, although quite tall. When I was ten years old I gained about 40lbs over a period of three months. It was not until I was researching my weight gain over the years that I pinpointed that as the time when I was prescribed several courses of antibiotics for repeated flare ups of tonsillitis . That was to prove significant factor

Neither of my parents were overweight or my sisters and brother. We all essentially had the same diet growing up, although my father had a sweet tooth and we always had to have a dessert after our main meal. Sweets were really only eaten at the weekend when we were given our pocket money, and they were never left lying around in the house. All the food when I was a child in the 1950s and 1960s, was fresh and cooked from scratch.

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. After a long and very happy career, I took the step to retrain as a nutritional therapist, a subject that I was very interested in, and to make the time to write my first book. Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another eleven books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Over the next week I will be featuring more of the authors in the anthology and I do hope you will head over and buy the collection of articles.. it is a terrific price and all the proceeds will be going to Cancer Research. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Guest Comedian D.G. Kaye and jokes from the archives


Debby Gies is still on vacation in sunny Mexico, but she is keen that you should not be lacking in funnies whilst she is away, so she has forwarded a batch to me to share with you. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

And I have been rifling through the archives to find some jokes to share..

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.comGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Now time for some quickies from my archives

On an old maid’s tombstone:
‘Who said you can’t take it with you?’

*****

My wife does bird imitations: She watches me like a hawk.

*****

What’s the difference between a canary with two wings and a canary with one?
A difference of a pinion.

*****

Man cannot live on bread alone… He needs a bit of crumpet!

*****

Acupuncture fees in China are so cheap it is called pin money.

*****

In court last week a clairvoyant sued for divorce on the grounds of her husband’s adultery next week.

*****

‘Have you ever been cross-examined before?
‘Yes your honour, I’m a married man.

*****

‘Guilty. Ten days or two hundred dollars.’
‘I’ll take the two hundred dollars, thanks Judge.’

*****

Did you hear about the butcher’s boy who sat on the bacon slicer?
He got a little behind in his deliveries.

*****

‘Knock, knock.’
‘Who’s there?’
‘A little old lady.’
‘A little lady who?’
‘I didn’t know you could yodel.’

*****

Whisky is a wonderful drink. It makes you see double and feel single.

*****

The Bridegrooms mother arrived at the reception and looked amazing. Her husband was delighted by the attention. ‘You look stunning,’ he smiled. You should always leave your bra at home.

She blushed. ‘How did you know?’

‘Because you have lost all the wrinkles from your face!’

*****

Thank you for dropping by today and to Debby Gies for her dedication….. we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones, Sally Cronin


First an author with a book that continues to receive outstanding reviews is Bette A. Stevens and Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Poverty and Prejudice on December 2, 2018

Stevens takes us back into the 1950s, depicting the Daniels family – a poor and dysfunctional family. This very short story introduces us into the life of two brothers, Shawn and Willie, indicating a snippet of what their lives entail living in not the most idyllic of situations.

We get descriptive bits of background sprinkled through this story, indicating the poverty these boys live in and small insights into their parents’ lives. The father is an alcoholic and doesn’t leave an impression that family needs come first when we learn he has bought himself a television, while the home sounds like it could use some financial investment to bring it up to modern day living. I don’t think I had enough to read to get emotionally invested in the story, but I did feel for the boys who seemed so far, not to complain about their meager lives and looked forward to weekends where they could get away from chores and out bike riding and fishing.

In this particular story, the boys are riding when little Willie get’s into a biking accident and is hurt. Big brother Shawn runs to a close by home to seek help for his injured brother as he remembered a woman from his church lived nearby. Despite the woman showing some compassion and helping out Willie with his wounds, she didn’t hesitate to show her prejudice for poverty by letting us know with words she felt these children and their family were beneath her.

I haven’t read the full book version yet of Dog Bone Soup, so I really didn’t grasp the whole essence of the story, merely a short glimpse into the theme of the story – family dysfunction, poverty and prejudice, based on description of the boys’ home, their passions and the reaction of one towns woman when confronted with having to help the boys out. Based on the theme of the story, I’m sure I’d enjoy learning more about these boys and how they manage to get on with their lives despite their upbringing and the stigma of poverty that surrounds them.

Read reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/PURE-TRASH-Bette-A-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

The next authors with a recent review for their 60s, music and romance Only One Woman are Jane Risdon and Christina Jones.

About the book.

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for Only One Woman on Goodreads

Dec 29, 2018 Michele rated it Five Stars

What a great read for me, specially, as it brought back many memories being aged 14/15. Remembering the music and fashion mainly. The two authors really worked hard on this and made me feel as if I was back there amongst everyone, and have very cleverly put this book together. R enza and Stella are two fabulous girls, but im not going to spoil this for you, but can highly recommend you purchase, read and enjoy the book. Congratulations ladies, very well done with this book.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

And thrilled to receive another new review for my latest book is Tales from the Irish Garden – posted byOlga Nunez Miret on her blog.

About the book

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

Please meet Queen Filigree as created by Donata Zawadzka

One of the recent reviews for the book

I have followed the author’s blog Smorgasbord Invitation for quite a while. She is an expert on many topics, including health, media, publishing, and she is a great supporter of other writers and artists. She has also published a large number of books, non-fiction and fiction, and she has shared many of her short stories in her blog. I read and reviewed her book Tales from the Garden a while back (you can check my review here) and had been looking forward to this book since I heard about it.

While the original book contained pictures from the author and her relatives’ gardens, for this book she counts with the collaboration of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka, who provides a black and white ink illustration for each one of the stories/chapters of this enchanting book. The style of the illustrations suits this wonderful realm perfectly, and the images helped bring the stories to life more fully.

The book follows on from the stories of the fairy realm of Magia. Queen Filigree and her subjects have to leave their garden in Spain due to a new property development. Although some of her stone guardians cannot follow to the new location, in Ireland, we get to meet some fantastic new characters, like the Storyteller, a man with his own magic, who helps our friends in need. We have a prince charming for the queen, magical dressmakers; we also learn more about how the palace works, from the royal pigeons and their carer, to the magical spiders, Queen Bee and her subjects, and the frogs who also help with pest control and building work. Some of our old acquaintances are up to no good, and we also learn more about the queen’s daughters (pretty but not always wise).

The stories follow the seasons of the year, and we have many occasions to join in their celebrations, with new musicians and banquets, and we can enjoy stories set in particular times of the year, from local fairs to Halloween. I cannot choose a favourite because I enjoyed them all, from the piglet races to the touching story of the Storytellers’ daughter.

The style of writing is accessible, fluid and suitable to all ages. These fairy-tales contain gorgeous descriptions of places, costumes, foods, and also characters that go beyond the standard cardboard cut-outs we have come to expect. We have witches suffering from age-related aches and pains, princesses who care for each other but can get into serious trouble, fairy queens concerned about their age, foxes that refuse to kill other animals, jealous bulls… Only some human beings are allowed into the magical realm, and I felt privileged to be one of them.

Another magical book from this author, suitable for anybody who is a child at heart and needs a little inspiration to recover the sense of wonder. Queen Filigree has a magical fountain, and we have Sally Cronin’s books to ensure our imagination keeps us forever young. Highly recommended to everybody.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

A selection of my other books

You can read all the recent reviews for the books: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have found a book or two to your liking. Have a good weekend.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories for Christmas – You’re Never Too Old for Love by Sally Cronin


You’re Never Too Old for Love

He was getting on a bit in years, his eyesight was very dodgy, and his hip was definitely causing him gyp. His teeth were still okay; he still enjoyed his meat slightly chewy, instead of that pap that they gave the real oldies in this residence. And if truth be told, despite his advanced years there was still a little fizz left when it came to the ladies. In fact there was a rather saucy looking old gal in the residence four down from him, who despite the silver threads through her glorious mane of hair, still had a twinkle in her eye.

Making his mind up to make more of her acquaintance later when they were all out in the garden enjoying their daily exercise, he closed his eyes to have a quick nap before lunch. He dreamt of a luscious garden full of the scent of flowers, as well as the laughter of children as he chased them around the apple trees. Two hours later he woke with a feeling of sadness, knowing that he would never see those children again. They were grown now and had no thought of him as he sat alone in this place.

There were visitors who came from time to time, but this was a residence for the elderly, and whilst they were well taken care of with amusements laid on, and so called enrichment programmes, they all felt the loss of being part of a family. They would talk about it amongst themselves when they were resting in the shade of the garden; out of breath from their recent exertions. They had to accept that they were not going to see the outside of this place again and had better make the best of it.

One day they woke up to see the garden covered in snow and some of the more elderly residents declined the invitation to go out for their usual daily exercise; choosing instead to huddle under the blankets and watch through the windows of their rooms. He, however, was made of sterner stuff. He remembered the fun he had enjoyed with the children; lying in the snow whilst they covered him from top to tail until only his head could be seen. He was not sure if he lay down in the soft snow now, that he would be able to get up again with his dodgy hip.

Tired from his time in the winter wonderland, he returned to his room and settled down in the old chair in front of the window. For some reason he felt incredibly sad; for once his normally sunny disposition was overshadowed by grief.

The next day the staff could be seen rushing around putting up shining decorations, and the residents perked up knowing turkey and all the trimmings were imminent. You have to give credit to the woman who ran the place; she was a kind soul who was committed to giving her elderly charges the comfort and care they deserved. They all enjoyed her frequent visits to their rooms for a chat and a hug or two.

Somehow this year he found it difficult to get excited, despite loving the taste of turkey, ham and those little sausages wrapped in bacon. But his dreams each night of children’s laughter lingered throughout the day, and he felt incredibly sad.

The day before Christmas, he woke to hear people talking outside in the corridor. Not unusual certainly, but he kept hearing his name mentioned and there was something familiar about one of the voices… He moved closer to the door and tried to understand what was being said about him. He heard the click of the latch and hurriedly moved back into the room; watching as the woman who ran the place entered with a tall young man.

“Hello Jack is that really you.” He stared at the stranger who seemed to know his name. He edged forward to get a better look and a hand reached out towards him.

“We’ve been searching for you since Mrs Jones died and we didn’t know where you had gone, I cannot tell you how happy we are to have found you.”

We, what’s this we bit?

Suddenly two very young children pushed themselves into the room and rushed towards him, throwing their arms around his neck. After a moment’s fear he surrendered to the wonderful emotions that surged through him as he heard their laughter; feeling their small arms choking the life out of him.

He looked up through rather bleary eyes as the young man knelt down and stroked the fur around his neck, a familiar smell immediately unlocked the memories he had tried to suppress during his waking hours. Memories of this man as a teenager living next door to his mistress, coming over when he was a puppy and playing with him, rolling around in the snow and teaching him how to make snow angels.

“You’re coming home with us Jack, would you like that boy, would you like that?”

To say that he was out that door like a whippet up a drainpipe, despite his dodgy hip, was an understatement. He was helped into a large box that hummed, sitting between the two small children strapped into special seats. They both reached out to touch him; reassurance that it was going to be safe as they set off at an alarming rate.

So here he was on Christmas Day having just eaten a meal of chicken, basmati rice and vegetables with special gravy, no salt his new mistress said in her soft caressing voice. He had a lovely new bed in the same room as his two young friends, Billy and Grace. He lay there in the warmth listening to them breathing gently in their sleep, knowing that he was now their guardian. He was filled with new purpose and strength; even his dodgy hip didn’t hurt as much.

More than anything he felt young again and loved… You’re never too old to feel loved.

©Sally Cronin 2018

At the moment I am offering a free ebook from this choice of five of my books to find out more about them and read a review please click on this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-the-last-author-to-be-self-promoted-and-free-giveaway-sally-cronin/

How to get your free e-book version of these books.

Please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a mobi version for Kindle or epub for other devices.  I have no expectation of a review but if you do enjoy the book a quick email to let me know would be fantastic.

Look forward to hearing from you.

The offer runs from today 18th December until Midnight Christmas Eve 2018 wherever you live