Sunday was a fun day filled with food, friends and Pomegranate Sparklers! I held a class for the Wellness Center at Piedmont Hospital – in honor of breast cancer survivors and friends. The room was filled with beautiful people and lots of pink. Representatives from Local Breast Cancer Organizations attended. It’s absolutely wonderful to have national organizations that support us when we have problems, but how lucky we are in Atlanta to also have such great local resources. The Wellness Center was well represented by Director and “Rock Star” Carolyn Helmer and super-Sara Batts, along with exceptional facilitators from the center: Dr. Jody and Barbara. One of my favorite “feel-good” people, Jennifer Dickstein was there with Hair With Care, (the woman is a magician with wigs), Trissa Carlton from Anchored Images talked about how she can help women regain confidence, Laurel Sybilrud from It’s a Journey – a fantastic local group that supports the Breast Cancer 2 Day Walk told everyone about their incredible support of the Atlanta community, and Lisa Vingerling, the fun and enthusiastic founder of Pink Heels, a group that works with young women under 40 with cancer informed the group of the Pink Heels resources.

The assistants backing me up were the A team. From James, the wonderful lead assistant, to Mary Catherine, Ben, Debbie, Sherrie, Paula, Madeline and Brenda – I couldn’t have had better help. They are the ones that make the magic; I just get to talk about it! (Thanks too, to Mallory, who helped me acclimatize to the brand new kitchen.)

And the new Cooks Warehouse in Ansley Mall is beautiful! If you are in the Atlanta area, you have to stop by. It’s a candy store of fun tools and ideas. Can’t wait to teach there again.

Here are a couple of recipes from the class to enjoy at home, along with the recipe (and the wine) for the Pomegranate Sparkler!

Savory Shrimp Bites

½ Cup Rice Vinegar

¼ Cup Sugar

3 Carrots, Grated (or about 2 cups)

2 Cups Red Onion, Minced

6 Green Onions, chopped – green and white parts

1 TB Lime Juice

Zest of 1 Lime

1 Small Red Chili Pepper, trimmed with seeds removed, minced

1 Tsp Minced Garlic

2 TB Fish Sauce

2 TB Chopped Fresh Mint

1 TB Chopped Fresh Basil

1 LB Cooked Shrimp, Roughly Chopped

Butter Lettuce Leaves – you may see the Brand Name “Sweet Gems Cups” at the store

Step One

Pour the vinegar and sugar into a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar. Place the next 8 ingredients into the bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Add the shrimp. (Depending on how much liquid has been exuded, you may need to drain it. Roll about a TB of the shrimp mixture in the lettuce leaves and serve.


In Thailand fish sauce is called Nam Pla. It is is often made from anchovies, salt and water, and is often used in moderation because it is intensely flavoured. Anchovies and salt are arranged in wooden boxes to ferment and are slowly pressed, yielding the salty, fishy liquid.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Lemon, Orange and Smoked Paprika Dressing

The Dressing

1 ½ TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Lemon Zest

2 TB Orange Juice

1 Tsp Orange Zest

½ Tsp Dijon Mustard

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper plus more to taste

Pinch of Smoked Paprika plus more to taste

Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt plus more to Taste

Shake or Whisk all the ingredients together – taste for Salt and Pepper.

The Salad

¼ Cup Very Thinly Sliced Scallion Greens

6 Cups Spinach

1 Cup Freshly Shredded Carrot

1/2 Cup Sliced Strawberries

1 Orange, Rough Chopped

¼ Cup Sliced or Slivered Toasted Almonds

Toss the Salad ingredients together and drizzle about half of the dressing over the top. Toss again and check to see if more dressing is required.


The white part of the orange, (pith) is the primary source of its flavonoids. Flavonoids are colorful pigments that support numerous metabolic processes in the body. The loss of flavonoids when you drink orange juice – or “supreme” an orange is one of the many reasons for eating the orange whole.

To Make a Pomegranate Sparkler start with Cranberry Pomegranate Juice. Add a couple of tablespoons to a wine glass and fill with either Sparkling Water or Sparkling Wine.

Cristallino Cava

When you are choosing a sparkling wine to go in a cocktail – you want to select a wine that is delicious on it’s own, but not the “top of the pop”. Cava from Spain is an excellent example of a crisp clean citrus sparkler that goes well with fruit juice. And Cristalino is a solid cava that lives up to that reputation. The grapes, a traditonal Spanish trio of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello are grown in the Penedes region of Northwest Spain. When you consider the price – about $10 in the grocery store, you can’t beat the quality of this easy drinking, light and refreshing sparkler.

Appearance: Hay Colored

Aroma: Bread, Citrus – Lemon and Lime

Taste: Green Apples, Cookie Dough, Almonds, and Lemon

Finish: Medium

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