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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

What's for Dinner? Ask Linda

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Linda Cahill of The Pampered Chef is back to offer us some delicious recipes and cooking tips. Whether she’s demonstrating products for The Pampered Chef while preparing delicious recipes at a Pampered Chef party, helping out in her parish, entertaining friends and family, or making a meal for a sick friend, Linda always knows “What’s for Dinner?”

This month Linda selected colorful, easy to prepare recipes that are delicious and healthy. Say “I love you” with one of her picks for Valentine’s Day and still have time for a little romance. It’s a win, win!!!

Visit to see all the wonderful kitchen tools and recipes.

Chicken Avocado Caprese Salad

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1 pkg (5 oz/142 g) baby arugula

6 oz (170 g) deli smoked chicken breast, cut 1/2"(1 cm) thick

1   avocado, halved, seeded and peeled

1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes

1 container (7 oz/198 g) Ciliegine fresh mozzarella balls (cherry size)

1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh basil leaves


1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable or olive oil

1/4 cup (50 mL) balsamic or white wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp (7 mL) sugar

1   garlic clove, pressed

1/2 tsp (2 mL) Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt


 For salad, place arugula in a large serving bowl.

Cut chicken into approximately 3x3” (8x8-cm) pieces. Using Quick Slice, cut chicken into strips; tip slicer over salad greens.  Repeat with avocado, tomatoes and mozzarella.

Stack basil leaves; roll tightly and thinly snip with Professional Shears. Sprinkle snipped basil over salad.

For dressing, combine all ingredients in Measure, Mix & Pour®. Mix until blended. Drizzle ¼ cup (50 mL) dressing over salad; toss lightly just before serving. Refrigerate remaining dressing for another use.

Yield: 6 servings of 2 cups/500 mL

Nutrients per serving: Calories 210, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 40 mg, Sodium 330 mg, Carbohydrate 6 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 12 g

Greek Cucumber Noodle Salad

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2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar

½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano leaves

⅛ Tsp (.5 mL) each salt and black pepper

1   garlic clove, pressed

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil


2   English cucumbers, cut in halves or thirds

1 small red onion (or ½ medium onion), peeled and ends trimmed

1 pint (2 cups/500 mL) cherry tomatoes

1 jar (7.5 oz/212 g) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

¼ cup (50 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted and halved, or pitted ripe olives, sliced

4 oz (125 g) crumbled feta cheese


To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients, and set the dressing aside.

Spiralize the cucumbers with the fettuccini blade on the Veggie Spiralizer. Snip the cucumber noodles occasionally to shorten the strands. Place the cucumber noodles into the large colander of the Salad & Berry Spinner. Place the colander into the outer bowl, then blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Allow excess water to drain prior to assembling the salad.

Using the ribbon blade, Spiralize the red onion, then cut the spirals in half. Rinse the red onion under water to remove the bite. Drain and set aside.

Slice the tomatoes in half.

Combine the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and cheese. Toss to combine. Drizzle the mixture with half of the salad dressing and serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Yield: 8 servings of 1 cup/250 mL

Nutrients per serving: Calories 120, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 2.5 g, Cholesterol 15 mg, Sodium 360 mg, Carbohydrate 8 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 4 g

Cook's Tips: Draining the cucumber prior to assembling salad helps the salad from getting too watery. If not serving the salad right away, keep components separate and assemble prior to serving.

To make an Italian version of this recipe:  Add 1 oz (30 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese to dressing. Substitute 3 oz (90 g) salami, cubed, for Kalamata olives and 4 oz (125g) Ciliegine fresh mozzarella balls (cherry size), cut in half, for feta.


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2   oranges, divided

3   limes, divided

¼ cup (50 mL) sugar

6 cups (1.5 L) ice

1 bag (10-12 oz) frozen sweetened raspberries

1 cup (250 mL) silver tequila

½ cup (125 mL) triple sec

1 bottle (750 mL) pink champagne or sparkling wine

4 cups (1 L) chilled lemon-lime soda


Juice one orange and two limes to measure ¼ cup (50 mL) juice each.

Combine the juices and sugar in a Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2–3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Thinly slice the remaining orange and lime.

Add the ice, juice mixture, orange and lime slices, raspberries, tequila, and triple sec to the Family–Size Quick–Stir®Pitcher and stir. Add the champagne and soda. Place the lid on the pitcher and plunge gently.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 220, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 29 g, Protein 0 g, Sodium 15 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 fruit (2 carb)

For more delicious recipes and to order products for your kitchen, visit Email her at

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