Friday, August 29, 2014


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We grew up eating Whimpies on a regular basis, and until recently, I thought the name and the dish were my mother's creation.

I assumed, because it contains hamburger meat, she named them after, Whimpy, the character from the old Popeye cartoons.


"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Q. Episodes of depression seem to be common over several generations in my family. Is depression genetic?

There is substantial evidence that depression is a hereditary disease. A depression gene known as 5-HTTLPR has been found.

The World Health Organization reports that about 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. WHO estimates that depression will become the first cause of disease burden worldwide by the year 2020. Disease burden is defined as years patients must live with a disability.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Mom's Pot Roast has been a favorite for generations in our family.

My number one comfort food? My mother's pot roast.

Whether I was sick or sad, or celebrating a birthday when my mother asked what I would like her to make, my answer was almost always the same: pot roast.

My mother's pot roast is also a favorite of two of my daughters.

When Margaux had her first child, I remember having two pot roasts simmering on the stove at the same time one for dinner that evening and one for the freezer, so she wouldn't have to cook every night.

In addition to being simple, this dish is very tasty, and perfect for company.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Q. I keep hearing about how bad coffee is for you. I also hear about how good coffee is for you. What gives?

The average American drinks over 400 cups of coffee a year, so how this popular beverage affects our health is an important issue.

Let's start with the bad part.

For the general population, the evidence suggests that coffee drinking doesn't have any serious detrimental health effects.

This is a summation from Dr. Rob van Dam, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

Instead of heart-shaped, we're going heart-smart with Ted and Lori Larizzio of Jim Thorpe. The fact that this pair is the sweetest couple I've ever met (they were high school sweethearts and have known each other since kindergarten!), makes it a slam dunk.

When I came up with the idea for this food column, Lori was one of the first people I wanted to feature. After meeting her and Ted when I did a story about them in May of 2011 (, we became Facebook friends.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Q. I'm a baby-sitting grandparent I think I'm getting more colds because of it. Am I right or is this my imagination?

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reports that schoolchildren get as many as 12 colds a year. Put those kids near their grandparents and it doesn't take a scientist to know that those colds are going to spread.

My personal physician also a grandfather says that one of the problems is that these walking petri dishes come home from school with new germs for which older people haven't developed antibodies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My mother used to make the best doughnuts -- light, airy and delicious. With "Doughnut Day" just around the corner, I searched high and low for her recipe, but could not find it.

Not to be deterred, and with his heart set on some homemade doughnuts, my dad continued to search through hundreds of mom's handwritten recipes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Q. What are "blue blockers" and are they worth getting?

There's a controversy over the possible harm done by blue light. There is blue light in the bright glare from snow or water. Lenses that block all blue light are usually amber colored. This color is supposed to help you see distant objects more easily. Amber sunglasses are used by many pilots and hunters.

But, if you are shopping for sunglasses, the most important feature to look for is the ability to protect your eyes from invisible ultraviolet (UV) light, which also causes sunburn.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Paired with a loaf of crusty bread, "What to do with that hambone" Soup is an easy and inexpensive weeknight dinner.

After a long, hard day at work, it's a joy to come home to the intoxicating aroma of a soup that's been simmering on the stove all afternoon.

I love to cook, but I'll be the first to tell you that this "three times a day, seven days a week" thing never sat well with me. I did it for years, especially when my children were growing up and I was a stay-at-home mom, but once I started working full-time and the kids were older and then out of the house, cooking during the week was one of the first things to change.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I received an email that was labeled Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins. I found it so interesting that I was planning to write about the information included in this email.

The email begins with this statement: "After years of telling people chemotherapy is the only way to try to eliminate cancer, Johns Hopkins is finally starting to tell you there is an alternative way."

Intriguing. But first I made a mandatory visit to, the Internet's premier debunker. Sure enough, the email was a phony. It was not from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.