Brandy Beans photo provided by the author

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse!

According to an official memo released by Trader Joe’s, “No Brandy Beans in 2020 due to labeling issues. Brandy Beans will be returning in 2021.” What? Could it really be true?

For over 15 years Trader Joe’s has stocked the shelves with this specialty chocolate from Germany. My mother is a German immigrant and we always enjoyed these during the holidays.

My heart sank as the crew member reported the news to me over the phone. The first time I called several weeks ago TJ’s was expecting their shipment around November…


Includes Vegan Options

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Thanksgiving travel plans canceled due to COVID-19? Whether you’re a college student, recently single, or just honoring the wishes of your family not to gather this year — whatever the reason you find yourself alone for Thanksgiving, there’s still time to visit your local Trader Joe’s and stock up on some festive turkey day offerings. And, if you don’t eat Turkey? Don’t worry, I’ve got vegan options covered as well!

This last-minute guide includes appetizers, main course, desserts, beverages and prices. …


As the COVID-19 pandemic exposes another area of vulnerability — the U.S. food supply, Americans find innovative ways to keep themselves and their communities fed.

With 40 million Americans unemployed and poverty on the rise, Feeding America expressed concerns on their website in April that the ongoing crisis, “could result in an estimated additional 17.1 million people experiencing food insecurity.”

Disruptions in the food supply chain and fewer donations from individuals, grocery stores and restaurants have caused food banks to suffer ongoing shortages.

Industry Instability

On April 26th, Tyson Foods announced the closures of some plants as workers became infected…


Written by a non-vegan. I promise never to slip animal products in my favorite recipes and hope you don’t notice…

Vegans are people like everyone else. Get to know one, ask them questions…they don’t bite!

Although I’m not vegan, I have several vegan family members. One of the most important things I have learned is that simply being a good hostess to vegans is an important way to respect and honor their choices and lifestyle.

I have become an advocate for vegans and that includes educating non-vegans on how to accommodate, embrace, and sometimes tolerate (the difficult) vegans in their lives.

This article idea was sparked last year after discussing holiday menu planning with a friend. She was bemoaning her son’s new vegan girlfriend and how she didn’t want to alter her favorite recipes.

It…


It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, and we’re breaking out the winter sweaters and hot chocolate. Most people aren’t bothered by the colder, shorter days of fall and winter and transition through the seasons smoothly.

But for some, the lack of light and Vitamin D from the sun can wreak havoc and cause them to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. And for those in recovery, this time of year may add stress to an already challenging season.

What is SAD?

SAD is a mood disorder that goes beyond the typical “winter blues” and can sink some people…


After suffering a massive stroke on Feb. 27, 2019, Hollywood heartthrob Luke Perry passed away Monday at the age of 52. Perry rose to fame as the bad boy of 90210 airing from 1990–2000. He was often referred to as a young James Dean. After 90210 ended, Perry has been working steadily ever since.

He has appeared on Hallmark movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order, Spin City, and countless guest-starring roles. And most recently, on the CW series, Riverdale.

Shortly after his reported death, Riverdale co-star Molly Ringwald offered her condolences on Twitter, “My heart is broken…


Hey, Friendship. What Happened To You?

I recently started watching Sex and the City long after the fervor had died down. I was curious to learn what all the fuss was about. I immediately felt a kinship with the main character, Carrie. She was a writer living in New York City. I soon realized what kept me tuning into the show wasn’t the romantic drama (well, maybe a little) but the friendships these women shared.

Carrrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha were always available on the phone. They dined, visited spas, traveled together and, of course, met up regularly at their…


On an Instagram post last night, Alex Rodriguiz announced he had popped the question to Jlow at the beach and, after dating since 2017. He proved he liked it and put a ring on it! Lopez posted the same photo captioned with heart emojis. Lopez married three times and Alex once. Two children from previous marriages

According to People Magazine Rodriguez popped the question while the two vacationed in the Bahamas. he announced on Instagram showing the pic and a gorgeous ring stated simply, ‘she said yes.” ❤

Earlier that same day, the former Yankee, 43 posted on his…

Monica Romano

Freelance writer covering health, food as medicine, ancient herbal wisdom www.twitter.com@writegirl67

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