Chilled Avocado, Cucumber, Wasabi, Yogurt Soup

We're all looking for happiness. I have a recipe for it. 

Chilled avocado, cucumber, wasabi and yogurt soup. 

The first cold soup happened in Tulsa, where a benevolent hostess overlooked a hillbilly guest's drinking of the finger bowl. Soon after, hot potato purée was turned into fashionably refreshing cold vichyssiose and began flowing like champagne. Food fashion has advanced.

Gone are the days when serving a bowl of broth in summer is the cuisine equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day. (Which is okay, btw.)

Floating On A Mardi Gras Parade

I rode on a float in a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. Lots of my firsts happened in New Orleans. I took a streetcar to school, met my lifelong best friend, joined the Marine Corps.

I ate my first oyster in the Big Easy. I was thirteen. My family moved there from Texas -- where the most exotic slimy thing I’d ever swallowed was okra.

The waiter carried the tray of oysters as if they were valuable, easing it down onto our table. Things on ice appear more precious. I picked up an oyster. It smelled like the stinky parts of the Galveston beach. The shell was thick and jagged. Everything about it looked like something not to eat. I stared down at the gelatinous mass quivering in pearlescent liquid.

I thought, “New Orleans is home now; better get used to it.” With a toss I’d seen in movies, the cold lump slid down my throat. Once those flavors get in you, you’re addicted.

Recipe: Brie and Grape Quesadillas -- Touchdown!

Are you ready for some football... food? Fall is here and our bikinis are packed away It's safe to eat again.

Brie and Grape Quesadillas. A fruit and cheese platter is a good party food; but game-distracted guests can fumble the elements. They maul your cheese and drop grapes that roll under the couch. This recipe is an inventive way that seals the meal and has them eating out of the palm of their hand.

This easy creation lets you spend more time with your company. If you're a pro-athlete looking for recipes simple enough for your mid-season or post-prison cookbook -- this one's for you. Rachel Ray called it "Even too easy for me".

An Idiot's Guide To Surviving A Heart Attack

I run at 100 miles per hour.

One day it comes to a halt. My phone rings—which always freaks me out. I think my phone is only a camera or a way to demand a car. I look at the screen and the name seems kinda familiar…

Military Time: America's Got Talent Via Social Progress

America is going through LGBT civil rights boot camp, and it’s making our society stronger. Change, like recruit training, is hard. The results are worth it.

Recently joining our ranks in the march to equality: SCOTUS, the Boy Scouts, the Pentagon and Caitlyn Jenner.

When I was a kid I marveled at Jenner as she competed on TV in the Olympic decathlon, I had no idea she suffered from body dysmorphia.

You think it took bravery to eat the first oyster? Try being Caitlyn Jenner, living a famous, accomplished life while secretly knowing she was in the wrong body. When Caitlyn came out as transgender, she turned heads (some sideways) and opened minds. Soon after, the Pentagon announced that the military will allow transgendered people to serve.

This Marine Won't March Into Mississippi (Hate Doesn't Taste Like Chicken)

I just turned down a farm-to-table tour of Mississippi. As a food writer, they invited me to tour their farm--to-table movement. They are very proud of where they stand and offered to fly me in to witness their production.

One of the most important moments in my book, The Pink Marine, involves Mississippi. Marines’ primary mission is to defend our country. The U.S. government didn’t care about my sexuality. It wasn’t part of their job or my job. They equipped me with the necessary training and tools to be an effective Marine. As I was issued an M-16, I recalled the time when I was fifteen and visiting a farm near Jackson, Mississippi. I hunted for the first time. I held my first rifle, shot and killed a squirrel. And then our host cooked it and served it for our dinner. * Mississippi, you’re always full of surprises.

Homemade, Healthy, Yogurt-based Salad Dressing. Undressed.

I turn into my grandmother when I tie one on. An apron. I hear her guide my hand over the salt, Not too much, she says. As I stir, I check my arm to see if it has her adorable wiggle waggle yet.

In an effort to delay that jiggle, I work out and eat healthy. I cook as much as I can, using natural products unencumbered by additives. I lived through the eighties so there are enough chemicals bouncing around my in body from the disco daze. To make it to and through my eighties, I'm especially mindful of the ingredients in any prepared foods I buy.

This easy, healthy salad dressing recipe is a staple in my fridge.