Sunday, October 25, 2015

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice
by, Gina Meyers
An easy and hearty meal perfect for the wintertime.

1 pound of dried red beans, rinsed and drained

8 cups of water

1 ham bone

2 pounds of smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 ½ cups of chopped yellow onion

¾ cup of chopped green onions

1 ½ cups of chopped celery

2/3 cup of chopped bell pepper

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce

1 Tablespoon of minced fresh parsley                           

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

3 cups of steamed rice


Directions: Combine beans, water, and ham bone in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for forty minutes Add sausage and cover Cook for sixty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and next 5 ingredients Cover and cook 1 hour 30 minutes or until beans are soft. Add Worcestershire sauce and next five ingredients. Simmer for five minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve over rice. Yields 6 servings.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Dream of Jeannie 50 Years Later! By, Gina Meyers with IDOJ Trivia

I Dream of Jeannie, 50 Years Later!

By, Gina Meyers



For more information on I Dream of Jeannie, purchase Buy I Dream of Jeannie Book, by, Gina Meyers


101 Things To Know About I Dream of Jeannie Book Trailer on You Tube

Astronaut Tony Nelson is stranded on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With his space mission aborted, he is forced to make the decision to parachute. He writes a large S.O.S. sign in the hopes of being rescued. While waiting for the rescue team to arrive, an old bottle rolls itself so Tony can see it. He decides to open the bottle, and instantly out pops a beautiful, extremely youthful looking 2,000 year old Genie, who doesn’t speak a bit of English. She immediately accepts Tony as her master and instantly learns to speak the English language, viola.

 Jeannie worships Tony. To Tony it looked as if Jeannie looked at him as just her Master. Someone to tell her what to do. To Jeannie, she felt love for Tony from the start and worked her own special brand of magic on him, until he finally realized instead of hiding Jeannie in her bottle, that he should embrace her beauty, love, compassion, joy, and spirit. The only person besides Tony that knew about Jeannie was Roger Healey, fellow Astronaut and Tony’s best friend. Roger was a bit of a cad in that he liked a lot of women, however, he often encouraged Tony to allow Jeannie to help assist them in innumerable messes that often occur in life. Tony did notice that Roger fancied Jeannie and took note of it, but didn’t act on his attraction for Jeannie until close to the last season of the show. Jeannie was from a foreign land, after all, she was a Genie. She spoke a different language and had different customs. She yearned to learn the American way, and was completely mesmerized by anything Tony was a part of. She often would pop herself to Cape Canaveral to watch him on his space missions. Jeannie, in the first season was extremely jealous of Tony’s girlfriend, which was basically a political move on Tony’s part, becoming engaged to his bosses daughter.

Jeannie wasn’t concerned about making any huge political statements or for standing out. Her loyalty and her passion was to get Tony to fall in love with her. With this single minded approach, Jeannie was successful in her campaign to prove to her beloved that persistence pays, at least on a television series. The marriage of Jeannie and Tony was a huge Neilson rating success!


I Dream of Jeannie was first telecast on September 18, 1965 and was a NBC production which lasted for five years, until September the 1, 1970. Jeannie was played by Barbara Eden, Captain Anthony (Tony) Nelson was played by Larry Hagman. Other cast members included psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Bellows, played by Hayden Rorke, and Captain Roger Healey, Tony’s best friend played by Bill Daily.



THE CAST OF I Dream of Jeannie


ROLE                                                             PLAYED BY


Jeannie (Nelson)                                                     Barbara Eden

Captain Tony Nelson                                               Larry Hagman

Jeannie Nelson                                                         Barbara Eden

Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson                               Larry Hagman

Captain Roger Healey                                             Bill Daily

Doctor Alfred Bellows                                              Hayden Rorke

General Wingard Stone                                            Philip Ober (19651966)

Melissa Stone                                                            Karen Sharpe (1965-1966)

General Martin Peterson                                         Barton MacLane (1965-1969)

Amanda Bellows                                                       Emmaline Henry

General Winfield Schaeffer                                     Vinton Hayworth (1969-1970)


Guest Stars:

Leutant  Pete Conway                          Don Dubbins

Garbage Man #1                                 Richard Reeves

Garbage Man #2                                 Joe Higgins

Wife                                                    Patricia Scott

Commander                                        Baynes Barron

Husband                                              Warren Kemmerling

When the rocket launch for a space mission goes awry, its astronaut, Captain Anthony Nelson, finds himself stranded on a desert island. There, he finds a beautiful antique bottle lying there on the sand. When Tony opens the bottle, he is shocked to find a beautiful, 2,000-year-old genie named Jeannie, who is now calling him her new Master and willing to grant him anything he wishes.

The Cast of I Dream of Jeannie


Writer of I Dream of Jeannie Sidney Sheldon

Directed by: Gene Nelson


Writer:                         Sidney Sheldon



101 Things to Know about I Dream of Jeannie

1. A professor was brought to the set from UCLA to tutor Barbara Eden in the foreign language of Farsi.

2. The foreign language professor who tutored Barbara Eden was utilized for Barbara’s first scenes on the island where Jeannie and the bottle were located by Anthony.

3. The writer and creator of I Dream of Jeannie was Sidney Sheldon.

4. Jeannie’s harem costume was lined with silk so viewers would not be unable to see her legs through the thin fabric.

5. Like Elizabeth Montgomery who starred as Samantha Stephens on Bewitched, Barbara Eden also known as Jeannie (Nelson), found out she was pregnant when NBC bought the pilot episode.

6. (Barbara Eden) Jeannie was not allowed to show her belly button throughout the entire duration of I Dream of Jeannie.

7. Barbara Eden in real life has a pet dog by the name of Djinn.

8. Jeannie had a twin sister by the name of Jeannie that was Barbara Eden wearing a long dark brown wig.

9. Jeannie II often wore a blue genie outfit to differentiate between good genie/ Jeannie I and naughty genie/Jeannie II.

10. NBC aired episode #   , “The Lady In the Bottle” only once. Viewers didn’t have an opportunity to view it again until the episode appeared in syndication.

11. Syndication occurred for local American television stations in the Fall of 1970.

12. It is revealed that Jeannie was transformed into a genie by the powerful Blue Djinn.

13. Origins for Jeannie II’s powers are unknown or weren’t revealed during I Dream of Jeannie.

14. Sidney Sheldon, in the summer of 1964, dreamed up the concept which later became known as I Dream of Jeannie.

15. Roger Healey, was Tony Nelson’s best friend, fellow astronaut, and only confident concerning knowing of Jeannie’s existence.



Monday, August 24, 2015

Making Meals Matter for families: Tips & Recipes for back to school


As the mom of two busy finicky children, one in her second year of college and one in his first day of sixth grade, it has been difficult to get everyone to be on the same playing field when it comes to food. Eating habits, emotional eating, finicky eaters, are all issues that many parents face and things are similar in my household. The key to eating right is to manage. I take the guess work out of healthy meals and want to give you a couple of tips to get your kiddos raving over meals and even helping out in the kitchen. It is essential that with everyone’s hectic lifestyles that we make eating together a priority.

Tip #1: Make meals matter. It honestly doesn’t matter what you serve on the plate that’s the priority here, it’s more making the time to sit down and listen to one another. With everyone’s hectic lifestyles, make eating together a priority.


Tip #2: Forget what the Jones’s are cooking and get competitive in your own kitchen. Hell’s Kitchen is a TV Show, let the warmth of the stove and the wonderful aroma from the kitchen be the only things hot. Don’t bother with tempers flaring or rising. Enjoy the process of collaboration and welcome ideas from the kiddos. Breakfast for dinner. Why not? It works and can be nutritiously sound.


Tip #3: Be the Picasso on your plate. No one needs to airbrush you, your life, your family or your cooking. None of us are Martha Stewart so focus on the Impressionist Picasso. Think color on your plate. Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, are easy to prepare and have a ton of flavor with a little steaming and extra virgin olive oil and vinegar for instance. Protein such as chicken, fish, or even pork are good main dishes as well as tomato salad, beet salad, and a little pasta with fresh pesto sauce.


Tip #4: Plan. Involve the children in meal planning and grocery shopping. Meat Free Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, you get the picture. Have fun with meal planning.


Prioritizing family meal times, forgetting what the Jones’ are cooking, think Picasso on a plate and planning are all surefire ways to get your growling lions into taming pussy cats when it comes to eating. Enjoy.


Cold Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Artichokes

Level of Expertise: Bachelors


1 pound bow tie pasta

1 bunch of Broccoli, halved

8-10 Pepperoni, cut into 1-inch strips

1 jar, (6.5 ounces) Marinated artichoke hearts, diced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

3 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Directions: Cook pasta in lightly salted water for 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add broccoli to boiling water during the last 5 minutes of cooking and then drain. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to a bowl along with the other ingredients, and toss. Serve hot or cold. Parmesan cheese as a topping, is optional. (From Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook) Buy Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook on Amazon

Easy Guacamole Recipe

Level of Expertise

Bachelor’s Degree


2 Ripe Avocados, mashed

1 Small Onion, diced (purple, white, or yellow onion)

1 ripe tomato, chopped (Campari, Roma, or garden variety tomatoes)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lime, squeezed and juiced

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions: Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in diced onion, minced garlic, chopped tomato, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for half an hour in the refrigerator to blend flavors. (From Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook)


Orange Freeze Fruit Flip

1 6-ounce can of undiluted frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup of water

1 cup of nonfat milk (or goat milk, coconut or almond milk)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

10 ice cubes

Directions: Whirl all ingredients in a blender for thirty seconds. Makes four delicious Orange Freeze Fruit Flip Smoothies.


Kick It Cooler

1 frozen banana

2 to 3 Tablespoons of Natural Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth). If allergic to peanut butter, substitute with almond butter.

1 cup of orange juice

Directions: In a blender, mix frozen banana, peanut butter and orange juice for one minute or blend until creamy. Serves one.


Watermelon  Hurricane

2 cups of seedless watermelon chunks

4 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt (or you may substitute regular yogurt with ½ cup of ice cubes)


Directions: Combine the watermelon chunks and frozen yogurt in a blender, blend until smooth. Serves one.

Juice Spritzer

Made with fruit juice concentrate, this homemade soda is a healthier choice than sugary commercial sodas.

1 Tablespoon of frozen juice concentrate, any flavor

8 ounces of seltzer water

Directions: Spoon the frozen juice concentrate into a tall glass. Pour in the seltzer and gently stir to mix. Drop in a few ice cubes if desires. Serves one.

Food Safety Tips for kids


1)    Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

2)    Wear an apron.

3)    If you have long hair, place in a clip or tie your hair back with a rubber band.

4)    Read the recipe before you start cooking.

5)    Arrange all of your ingredients, supplies, working surface and cooking utensils, bowls, measuring spoon, etc.

6)    Make sure your working surface as well as cups, bowls are clean and ready to be used.

7)    Always keep paper towels, and a sponge on hand in case you spill. If using the oven, make sure you have oven mitts.

8)    If you are chopping, use a cutting board and ask an adult or knowledgeable person to help you if you need help.

9)    When you are cooking on stove, make sure all handles are facing inward.


Have fun cooking!

About Author Gina Meyers

I love food, I love to cook, and I love sharing my unique themed cookbooks with the world. I have often been asked, “How do I make a recipe gluten-free?” “What can I substitute for buttermilk in a recipe?” “What type of wine goes with fish?” “Which one of your cookbooks will work for large crowds, Senior Citizens, Cooking for Two People, Singles, and College Student’s, etc.?”

Before I knew it, I was writing cookbooks.

I am the type of women who gardens in her heels, buys fancy aprons, but never ends up putting them on, except for photo shoots. Allows my children to experiment in the kitchen and quietly cleans up after them. I am best known for my Twilight Cookbook, Love at First Bite. It was mentioned on the hit NBC Show, The Office. Character Kevin Malone tells a pregnant Pam, “I cooked my way through the Julia Child’s Cookbook, now I am cooking Edward Cullen’s Cornflake Chicken from The Twilight Cookbook.” Twilight Star, Kellan Lutz, went nuts over Gina’s Twilight Tribute Punch, secret ingredient, gummy worms.  I am also known for my popular culture television trivia and cooking expertise books related to Harry Potter and the iconic television show Bewitched and I am the proud winner of the prestigious Gourmand International Cookbook Award for Best Charity Cookbook in the world, Hope For Haiti.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bewitching Trivia Contest at The Stockton Weberstown Barnes & Noble

Can you out twitch Author Gina Meyers? Probably not!

Fans of all ages were treated to food trivia, Bewitched trivia and fun.

Bewitched bucks (with Elizabeth Montgomery's Face on one hundred thousand dollar faux bills) were handed out to those individuals who got tough Bewitched Trivia questions right). They were allowed to look up information in The Magic of Bewitched Trivia & More Book.
Bewitched had a spinoff show called Tabitha, watch here:
To find out how you can purchase The Magic of Bewitched Cookbook or The Magic of Bewitched Trivia & More Book, follow this link: Bewitched Book on Amazon, Buy Here
Ready to join The Bewitched Fan Club, go to: Bewitched Fan Club

Monday, July 27, 2015

College Checklist, by, Gina Meyers

College Checklist

 Getting ready to go off to college or perhaps you have your first apartment? Congratulations.  This handy college checklist will help you remember to bring the essentials. Looking for easy recipes, Dorm Room Dining Essentials is your guide.



Pillow cases

Comforter (check what size you need, dorm room beds are twin)

Sheet set

Body pillow and cover (optional)




If you are living in the dorm, chances are that the furniture will already be provided. They usually provide a bunk bed as well as a closet and a desk with chair. If you chose to live in an apartment, you may find this list helpful.


Futon cover

Lounge chair



Shower caddy



Flip-flops (for the shower)

Hair wrap, body wrap (optional)


Body wash


Skin care



Bath accessories

Personal care items

Shower puff

Contact lenses/solution


Shower curtain/shower liner (optional)

Shower spray (such as shower to shower, or Lysol) (optional)


Hairstyling products










Bottle opener

Water bottle/plastic pitcher


Cleaning supplies

Paper towels


Disinfecting wipes

Broom and dust pan

Trash can

Laundry detergent

Dryer sheets

Laundry basket/bag

Drying rack (only if you live in an apartment and your dishwasher doesn’t have a dry cycle option)


Lint brush

Mini ironing board




Toilet bowl cleaner

Toilet brush

Garbage bags (plastic, paper)



Toaster/toaster oven

Mini fridge (ice trays)

Coffeemaker/espresso maker

Electric tea pot

Can opener

Pizza cutter

Pot holder

Food storage bags

Cooking utensils

Utensil tray

Kitchen gadgets

Mixing bowls


Shelf liners (optional)

Dish soap

Dish-cleaning wand

Dish towels

Paper towels





Bus Pass









DVD Blu-Ray player


Gaming system games

Laptop case

Laptop desk



Cords/cables/power strip


USB drive


Storage bins

Storage carts

Closet organizers


Bed risers

Under-bed storage

Desktop organizer

3M command hooks

Friday, July 24, 2015

College Bound Recipes from Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by, Gina Meyers (Tomato Caprese Salad, Hot Dogs, Peanut Butter Pie)

College bound recipes


You are getting ready to go off to college, congratulations!  With Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook as your guide, you will find great resources that will help the beginning cook understand cooking abbreviations and terms, make substitutions in recipes, and convert to and from the metric system. There is even a Cooking Essentials Guide to the best products on the market as well as The Well-Stocked Dorm Room Pantry Checklist. To assist the budding dorm room chef in determining the level of skill involved in preparing each dish, the recipes are labeled “easy”, “medium”, or “hard”. Bachelor’s Degree means “easy”, Master’s Degree, “medium”, and Doctorate Degree, “hard”. Most recipes found in Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook are Bachelor’s Degree Level, or “easy”. With Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, you not only get well balanced meals that are easy to prepare in your dorm room, but you also get a bonus:  there are Holistic Healing Exercises, and a section on How to Make a Dreamboard. These are perfect for the dorm room resident who wants to be able to create a well-rounded lifestyle.
Tomato Caprese Salad
Dorm Room Delicacy
Level of expertise: Bachelors
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and dried (can substitute dried basil)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼ inch thick (can purchase mozzarella balls in snack size, easy to use if you are making a salad for one)
6 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons of Balsamic
Directions: In a small bowl or durable paper plate, alternate and overlap tomato slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. May place in the fridge to chill for ½ hour and may eliminate vinegar and add more olive oil if desired.
hot dogs
*May use condiments to add flavor to your hot dog. Ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, or even try sauerkraut.
Try a turkey dog instead of a beef hot dog if you prefer.
Level of Expertise Bachelor’s  Degree
Place the hot dog at the end of the paper towel.   Roll it up to the other end of the paper towel. Tuck in the ends and put in the microwave. Heat for twenty to twenty-five seconds on 100% power. Unwrap and cut it in slices or enjoy it in a hot dog bun. You may heat your hot dog bun in the microwave as well with a damp paper towel for ten to fifteen seconds on 100% power.
Serve with potato chips or pasta salad.  Or, make hot dog sandwiches with toasted French rolls and a little sauerkraut.


Peanut Butter Pie

If you have a peanut allergy, this pie can be made with almond butter. Concerned about calories, use lite whipped topping instead of regular whipped topping. Milk allergies, no problem, substitute milk for almond milk, coconut, or even goat’s milk.
Serves 6-8
Level of Expertise Bachelor’s Degree
No-cook Dorm Room Delicacy
Spread 1 cup of the whipped topping over the bottom of the crust.
Drop jelly by the tablespoonful’s onto whipped topping.
In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix until thickened. Add peanut butter; mix well. Then, fold in the leftover whipped topping, spread over the jelly.
Allow to harden in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
1 carton frozen whipped topping (8 ounces)
1 ready made graham cracker crust
½ cup strawberry jelly
1 cup cold milk
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
½ cup of creamy peanut butter

1 Angus Beef hot dog