Monday Recap: January 2017

It’s the first Monday of the month, so I’ve gathered up links to the work I’ve done in other spaces.



Tech Talk: Listen to Our Writers: Several authors have their own podcasts! Subscribe to their shows for encouragement, entertainment and education.

At Cook and Count


Walnut Spice Cakea dressed-up quick bread perfect for dessert.


Mushroom-Rosemary Marinara: a hearty meatless pasta sauce.


Orecchiette with Ricotta and Peas: comfort food!


Cod with Mustard and Panko: a jazzed-up baked fish dinner.


Monday recap 2016 edition

#WorthRevisit: Diabetes Awareness Month

November is not only “Men’s Cancer Month,” as one of the second-graders observed while I was substitute teaching. It’s also Diabetes Awareness Month. We’re all too aware of diabetes around here. Three years ago this Thanksgiving, TheKid was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Because most people with diabetes have Type 2 (and that’s the one that gets the most press) I spend a lot of time correcting misconceptions about Type 1. People aren’t out to be malicious–they just don’t know the difference. So I have conversations like the one I had this past weekend at a family event.

TheKid heads up to the buffet table, is among the first in line, and starts loading his plate.
Relative: “What’s he going to eat?”
Me: “He’s a teenage boy. He’s going to eat All The Food.”
Relative: “I thought he has to be on a special diet.”
Me: “No, he can pretty much eat anything. He just has to take insulin every time he eats.”
Relative: “How many times a day does he take insulin?”
Me: “Every time he eats. He’s a teenage boy, so that’s pretty often…”
Relative: “But he’s going to outgrow this, right?”
Me: “No.”
Relative: …
Me: “He has Type 1. That’s an autoimmune disease. Basically, his body killed his pancreas and it’s not coming back.”


Here’s our story, the story behind Cook and Count, my cooking website, and (most important) the signs of Type 1 Diabetes, which is not caused by eating too many donuts. Yes, TheKid can have a donut. It’s not good for him (or anyone else) to eat the whole box, but he can have a donut if he takes insulin along with it.

He didn’t really have the “usual signs.” Instead, he was battling a so-called virus that caused a low fever, no appetite and a sore throat. His sister had the same thing a week before and had bounced back, so we tempted him with Slurpees and sweet tea and anything else to keep him hydrated. At the third doctor visit in less than ten days we insisted on blood work, thinking he had mono. That blood work showed a blood glucose level of over 600, and we went straight to the emergency room with a very sick child.

Cook and Count is primarily a recipe website, but it was born of my need to figure out the carb count of my family recipes so I can feed TheKid and keep him healthy.

You don’t have to be diabetic, or have a diabetic in your family, to use my recipes. In fact, I’ve been cooking many of these recipes for years. The only difference is that now I know the nutrition information that goes with them.

It’s Diabetes Awareness Month, so please take a moment to learn the signs of Type 1 Diabetes. This knowledge could very well save a life. I pray that you never need to use this information–but if you do, I hope that you find this site helpful.


Symptoms may occur suddenly and can include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sugar in the urine
  • Fruity, sweet or wine-like odor on breath
  • Heavy or labored breathing
  • Stupor or unconsciousness

If you or someone you love exhibits one or more of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

Monday Recap: May 2016

It’s the first Monday of the month, so I’ve gathered up links to the work I’ve done in other spaces. May was a busy month for book reviews, but I found time for a few recipes and a little spiritual writing, too.


LCLFrontCover-265x400Book Notes and Author Interview with Theresa Linden. Theresa Linden’s novel “Life-Changing Love” released in May from Silver Fire Publishing! I interviewed the author on the subject of courtship as a dating alternative, a central theme in the novel.

Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

The Chapel Rosary. Using a rosary belonging to someone else brings to mind a unique connection that is made through prayer.




Learning to Love with the Saints -- Front Cover 250 x 400Book Notes: Learning to Love with the Saints. I reviewed Jean Heimann’s spiritual biography, Learning to Love with the Saints, which explores the how and why of those saints’ personal influence on her life.


keep your kids catholicBook Notes: Keep Your Kids Catholic. Marc Cardonarella’s new book guides parents to nurture their children’s faith at home.



joy filled broken heart rosienBook Notes: The Joy-Filled Broken Heart. This small book is packed with big advice for those in the midst of suffering.



talking to GodBook Notes: Talking to God by Julie Cragon. This new book by Julie Cragon helps you turn everyday challenges into prayers.


At Cook and Count

Sauteed Spring Vegetables 1 CSauteed Spring Vegetables turned out to be a delicious seasonal side!


Giant saucepan CC cookies 1Because bigger IS better when it comes to cookies (according to my teenager) I made these Giant Chocolate-Chip Cookies.


Jeanne G chicken with mushroomsChicken with Mushroom Sauce is a great alternative to Chicken Marsala.

At Dynamic Women of Faith

joy filled broken heart rosienMy review of The Joy-Filled Broken Heart is available here.

At’s Reading Matters

blue eyed dollMy review of Deanna K. Klingel’s novel, Blue-Eyed Doll, was picked up at

Monday recap 2016 edition

Monday Recap: April 2016



Easter ham and cheese bakeCooking with Kids: Easter Ham and Cheese Bake. I shared a frugal recipe that kids can help prepare for the non-Meatless Friday after Easter. Catalogue Book Club Part II: Seasons of the Church Year (#32-44)We discussed Part Two: Seasons of the Church Year (#32-44) from The Catholic Catalogue, by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating. Reading this book has convinced me of the need to make sure that the observations of both the daily and the seasonal aspects of Catholic life take place on a family level, not just a personal one

four keys to everlasting loveBook Notes: The Four Keys to Everlasting Love. My review of The Four Keys to Everlasting Love by contributors Dr. Manuel and Karee Santos. The book is an excellent resource for marriage prep, but it’s not just for engaged couples or even newlyweds.


AmorisLaetitia WOF for FIAmoris Laeticia, The Joy of Love. A roundup of early commentary on the latest papal exhortation, as well as a link to the document itself.

blue eyed dollBook Notes: Blue-Eyed Doll. I reviewed Blue-Eyed Doll, a fascinating historical novel that transports the reader to 1920s California, where students collected dolls to exchange for dolls from students in Japan.


Catholic emoji FITech Talk: Texting and Tweeting with Catholic Emoji. Just for fun, I tried out the new Catholic Emoji app for iPhone and iPad. Those new emoji from Apple? Try to find real Rosary beads in there. Catholic Emoji has you covered.

hope unfoldingMother’s Day Book Notes: Hope Unfolding. I reviewed Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truths for the Momma’s Heart. It’s a perfect Mother’s Day gift for any overwhelmed mom.

At Cook and Count

cilantro citrus chicken 2cCitrus-Cilantro Chicken



roast pork orange pan sauce C (1)Roast Pork with Orange Pan Sauce



three way tacos CThree-Way Taco Topping




chesapeake bay shrimp CMeatless Friday: Chesapeake Bay Shrimp


At Dynamic Women of Faith

blue eyed dollBook Review: Blue-Eyed Doll by Deanna K. KlingelThis fascinating historical novel transports the reader to 1920s California, where students collected dolls to exchange for dolls from students in Japan, and follows the collectible dolls into World War II and its aftermath. Don’t miss Ruth Mary, the gutsy main character–she’s terrific.

Note: All links to books are Amazon affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my website with your purchase!

Monday Recap: March 2016


book notesBook Notes: Jeff Cavins’ When You Suffer. Cavins maintains that suffering has a purpose. It can help us grow in grace, to grow closer to Christ–if we choose to allow that to happen.

Is There a Cure for FOMOTech Talk: Is there a Cure for FOMO? I admit that my use of some social media can border on the compulsive. What do you do to alleviate your fear of missing out?

faithful traveler for FIThe Faithful Traveler Brings the Holy Land Home. I enjoyed a virtual journey to the Holy Land through a new video series from The Faithful Traveler, this one focusing on a papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

book notesBook Notes: Wartime Historical Fiction. I shared impressions of two historical novels I read recently, one set during World War II, the other during the Spanish Inquisition.

easterfire 2012 for FIEaster Vigil: Bring Your Family to the Fire. Are your children too wiggly to handle the whole Easter Vigil? I suggested that you start slowly–by bringing your family to the fire.

At Cook and Count

There’s been lots of international cooking this month!

Irish Soda Bread, just the way my mom makes it

Blueprint- Chicken Fettuccine VegetablesBlueprint Recipe: Chicken Fettuccine with Vegetables



irish tea brackFor St. Patrick’s Day: Irish Tea Brack




pierogi lasagna (13) CMeatless Friday: Pierogi Lasagna



File Mar 16, 4 31 09 PMWaterford Rolls based on a recipe from the region where my Granma was born



arroz con pollo (2)cOne-Pot Cooking: Arroz con Pollo. Certainly not authentic, but definitely delicious.


corned beef hash (1) T CCorned Beef Hash, a frugal “breakfast at any time of the day” dish


asparagus tart (1) cFabulous Appetizers: Asparagus Tart is fancy enough for company and can be made ahead

At Dynamic Women of Faith

true radianceBook Review: True Radiance by Lisa Mladinich

Monday Recap: 11/30/2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

I didn’t get much writing done last week, since we were busy celebrating Thanksgiving and traveling and visiting and cooking a turkey here so we could have leftovers–that sort of thing. I pretty much took 4 days off work, which meant I was buried in email today, but it was definitely worth it.

At Cook and Count

fish tacos (4) c t for FIFast Fish Tacos

diabetes lunch (7) T C

Packing Lunches for your Diabetic Child: It seems like the easiest thing in the world to pack a lunch. But two years ago when my younger son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, those little everyday things felt like huge obstacles. Here’s how we figured out a way for him to know how many carbs are in his lunch and snack.

Monday Recap: October 19

Monday Recap-What I've been writing


Ali Series by Christine MarciniakBook Notes: Christine Marciniak’s Ali Series. I interviewed the author of a series of books for teen girls that doesn’t include vampires, the occult or a desolate post-apocalyptic future.

Franciscan Crown FIFranciscan Crown: A Different Way to Pray the Rosary. Did you know that there are many ways to pray the Rosary? Here’s a how-to on praying the Franciscan Crown Rosary.

At Cook and Count:

Roasted Asparagus (3) T CRoasted Asparagus. Cookie sheets are not just for cookies anymore! They’re just the right size to roast vegetables in the oven. Here’s an easy recipe for oven-roasted asparagus.

Greek steak pitas C TOn the Grill: Greek-Seasoned Steak. One of the best steak marinades we’ve tried so far. This works in pita sandwiches or (if you’re not as lazy as I am) for shish kebabs.

Monday Recap 10/12/2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

A lot of writing happened in this space last week–not so much in the others.


Catholic Church app logoTech Talk: All the Catholic News, All in One Place. I reviewed the new free app from the USCCB. The Catholic Church app is packed full of national and international Catholic news and many other resources.

At Cook and Count

Sausage and pepper pasta bake T CSausage and Pepper Pasta Bake. We are all about the sausage and pepper sandwiches around here, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to take the best of that meal and turn it into a baked-pasta dish.


Monday Recap: September 28, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing


family first missing wmf2015

Family First: Why I’m Not at the World Meeting of Families



The Papal Visit

Tech Talk: Popewatch Apps 



Meatless Friday hold the pepperoni

Meatless Friday: Hold the Pepperoni



At Cook and Count:

lemon garlic chicken thighs CT (3) Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs




chili chicken T CChili Honey Chicken




Easy Beef Noodles C TEasy Beef Noodles




sloppy joes (4) T CGame Day Dinner: Sloppy Joes