Off the Dial

Kicking Off D-Feast Friday

I love the idea of D-Feast Friday.  Today is the very first and it's a chance for diabetes bloggers to mention a favorite recipe.  Doesn't have to be low carb or "diabetes-friendly" (whatever that means).
If you know me, then you know I'm not exactly a whiz in the kitchen.  Stacey Simms Book Cover Luckily, I'm married to a great cook and I know a ton of people in the restaurant business.  That's why my book is called I Can't Cook, But I Know Someone Who Can.  I donate all the money we make to JDRF ($12,000 and counting!).   
The book includes recipes and advice from Charlotte's best chefs – along with my kitchen disasters.  For D-Feast, I'm including a recipe by Johnson & Wales University Dean of Culinary, Chef Mark Allison. His Sunset Slaw is out of this world.
I met Chef Allison while judging a kids' cooking contest at J&W.  We got to talking and for some reason, I mentioned Benny.  Turns out, Chef Allison's son was diagnosed with type 1 at 11 months.  We're good friends now, and I can't wait to tell you more about the cookbook he's working on!


Chef Instructor Mark Allison

Sunset Slaw

¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon cumin seedSunsetslaw

1 teaspoon sugar

2 limes, zest and juice

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 medium carrot, cut into fine strips

1 small jicama the size of your hand, cut into fine strips

½ red pepper, cut into fine strips

½ yellow pepper, cut into fine strips

¼ cup dried tomatoes

1 red chili pepper, cut into fine dice

½ tablespoon chopped cilantro

1. Place the Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, cumin, and sugar into a bowl. Add the zest and juice of the limes. Whisk in the vegetable oil.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Refrigerate to infuse the flavors for about 1 hour before serving.

(Serves 4-6)


Enter Promo Code JDRF at checkout and save $10



"Camp KUDOS is the best thing we do all summer," said Benny. "Because there's nothing else where everybody has diabetes." 

Camp KUDOS is a three-day session, for kids ages 4 and up. It stands for Kids Understanding Diabetes with Our Support. Charlotte pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Mark Parker, started the camp 16 years ago and it's a true labor of love. The office staff does it all with no permanent location, no website and no pay. These are amazing people who love our kids; we can't thank them enough!

You can click here to watch a great story WSOC-TV did on Camp KUDOS this year. The big guy getting tackled by 5-year-olds is Josh, a Charlotte fire fighter with type 1.  He is Benny's absolute favorite person at camp.

Here's Josh, Benny and all the Kangaroos (the youngest group) practicing their big cheer.

Last year, camp helped us get Benny to finally wear his medical ID bracelet. This year, he continued to gain confidence using the pump himself – very important as he's off to kindergarten in just a few weeks. Mostly, he had a lot of fun seeing his friends from last year and making new ones.

As I said, Camp KUDOS doesn't have a website, but you can reach them at

If you're reading this because you're interested in diabetes, please check out these blogs: This Is Caleb and D-Mom Blog.  They've both started lists of diabetes camps around the country (and they're great to follow if you're looking for a little help/support/education as a parent of a type 1 kid).

Reunite Me With Regis!

Did you ever wish you had the chance to relive a moment? Maybe make it better the second time around? I have that chance, but I need your help. It's the LIVE with Regis and Kelly Women of Radio Co-Host For a Day.  You see, me and Regis, we go way back.

I spent the summer before my senior year in college with an internship at WABC in New York.  That's in the same building as Regis & Kelly (of course back then, Kathie Lee was still the co-host).  I had a three-day a week internship, working for the medical reporter, Dr. Jay Adlersburg.  I think I met him once. Mostly I worked with the producer. Mostly, I sorted mail.

I loved going to work right near Lincoln Center, loved being in that newsroom. Growing up watching WABC, I felt like I was breathing rare air every day. The room was almost shimmery. I suppose it could have been the hairspray, but it felt like my bright future.Regis

One morning, as I walked through the lobby, I saw the doors closing and yelled out, "Hold the elevator, please!"  A hand shot out to stop the door and I bounced in. "Thanks!" I chirped. Then I looked at the man attached to the hand. It was Regis Philbin himself! I was alone in the elevator with Regis!

Even more amazing, he was talking to me. He was inviting me to work on LIVE!  Oh wait, he was asking me which floor I needed.  I told him and he said, "Oh, you work in the newsroom." Then he said, "Tell Bill Beutel he owes me five bucks." Okay, I made up that last bit. (I loved Bill Beutel.  A New York legend, he was one of the few anchors who actually talked to interns)  

"Why yes," I said, suddenly trying to hold my briefcase and my coffee in a way I imagined a producer or a reporter would.  "The WABC newsroom." Were there others in the building? 

"Well, have a great day," he said.  The door opened and Regis walked out into the LIVE floor.  "You too!" I called. I floating within the elevator as it traveled the remaining five floors up.

My internship ended, I went back to college, got a part time job at WSYR radio, graduated from Syracuse and then got my first full-time job in Utica, NY. It was a far cry from the glittery WABC Lincoln Center experience. There were no other shows taping in the building. There wasn't an elevator. Some nights, there was barely a newscast – this is the kind of small TV station where the anchor operates her own TelePrompTer with a foot pedal. But it was exactly where I belonged and I loved every minute.

Fast-forward a few years and now I'm loving every minute at WBT radio.  But boy, wouldn't it be fun to go back to 7 Lincoln Center for a morning and revisit my star-struck 20-year old intern self?  This time I'd get to meet Regis for more than a moment, perhaps even have a genuine conversation. And tell him thanks, for making my already exciting internship even more memorable.

(If you agree, please click here to nominate me for the Women of Radio contest.  You can win a prize for entering, but hurry - it ends Friday, July 16th)

Raise a Glass For The Library

I took Benny to the library Tuesday after camp. Actually, we tried to go, but it was closed. I had completely forgotten that the new library schedule took affect this week. Bummer.

Like so many towns and cities, Charlotte's facing budget cuts that mean libraries are closing or cutting back hours. We are big library supporters; my late fees alone are probably keeping the North Regional branch open. Now we're putting our money where our mouth is. mouths are? Whatever. Really, we hope it's your mouth. Here's why:


My husband and I own Rotelli – a family Italian restaurant in South Charlotte.  This weekend, we'll donate 10% of proceeds to the Charlotte Libraries. That includes food or beverage (including the new full bar).  I wanted to call it Libations for the Library, but Slade went with Rotelli Wine & Dine for the Library. Fine.

My kids are both enthusiastic readers, but my schedule makes it hit or miss these days. I feel like I'm always reading last year's books. Just started The Big Love by Sarah Dunn and just finished the Guernsey Literary and Sweet Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I've recently become a huge fan of Michael Chabon and I raced through Robert Parker's second-to-last Spenser novel.  I've been reading Parker since I was 18 and was so sad to hear about his death this past January.

Two older books I really enjoyed this year are Julia Child's My Life in France and Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale (yes, that's the movie).  I'm also sort of embarrassed to tell you that I finally read Pride and Prejudice. Don't know what took me so long for that, but I can tell you why I'm waiting to read the second and third Stieg Larsson books.  Like everyone else, I read and loved The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  My mom has the others on her Kindle, so I'm waiting until we see her later this summer!

I hope you can join us this Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Rotelli to help out our libraries. I'd also love to know, what's on your reading list?