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Menopause through the Eyes of a Gynecologist

Although I have been a practicing gynecologist for 26 years when menopause hit right as my kids were leaving for college I felt like I had been hit with a harder case to crack. Add to that my mother’s breast cancer diagnosis and I started trying out things that were not straight out of a text book. I was also growing very weary of my patient’s coming in using costly, high dose “bio-identical” hormones who didn’t really understand the risks they were taking because they erroneously thought that all things natural are safe. I hope my maneuvering through this minefield will be helpful to others.

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High School & Getting into College

I once asked a patient of mine who is the Vice Superintendent of schools “what is the most important indicator that predicts the successful outcome of a child?” She responded “Parents.” She relayed a story of a girl who was the valedictorian of a local high school the preceding year who lived many days of her 4 years of high school in a car.   But her mother was always present, encouraging and they spent most nights studying together at a local restaurant. Encouraging your children without hovering is very difficult. I have made many mistakes along the way but also successes. My kids have gotten into many great schools and attended several big and small. Test schools, grade schools, school endowments, and merit based scholarships are things most schools and guidance counselors don’t discuss. The paths my kids have taken to succeed, the obstacles they encountered at certain schools and the mistakes we have made may be helpful to others. Recently one of the mothers of my oldest son’s high school friend who I hadn’t seen in 5 years asked me what my son was doing. When I replied that he was in medical school she looked astonished and said “how did he do that?’ Further posts will answer that question.

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Destination Desserts

Created with Adobe Illustrator CS5.


One of the hardest emotional times a mother can experience is having her children that she has cared for on a minute to minute basis for 18 years leave home.   When my first son, Meade, left home for college in another state it was hard coming downstairs in the morning and not seeing his smiling face. I have always made a big deal of my kids birthdays usually spanning a “birthday week” so when Meade’s birthday came around I wanted to send him a Birthday Cake. After searching on-line I finally settled on a Shipped Carrot Cake that cost me over $80.00! When he received it he simply said it was “ok, but not as good as yours.” This jolt to my heart spurred me into action. I wanted to send him something that was delicious and memorable of home and didn’t cost $80.00!

I scoured my recipes for desserts I could bake in an aluminum “steamer” pan, and ship in Medium Priority Shipping Box that “if it Fits it Ships anywhere in the U.S.” for $12.65 usually in 2 days. I have now shipped over 50 different recipes to my kids in college, my father, my siblings and my sister in law.  I want to share these recipes with anyone who wants to ship treats to the ones they love.


I shipped this cake to both my sisters for Thanksgiving.  My older sister Christine received it and loved it.  My little sister Cindy didn’t get it for 3 weeks and it arrived wrapped in plastic with a big “w e are Sorry” note.  I have shipped over 50 of my recipes and have never had this happen!  This is a wonderfully moist cake with a wonderful flavor due to the Amaretto!  My husband and I did our Residency training in Rochester, NY at Strong Memorial.  I tasted a lot of Italian Cream Cakes there but this one is definitely the best!



Gather Up: Butter, Flour, Coconut, Baking Soda, Crisco Shortening, Sugar, 5 Eggs, Buttermilk, Amaretto Liquor and chopped Walnuts

In a Large Mixing Bowl Cream together:  1/2 Cup of Softened Butter (1 stick)

1/2 Cup of Crisco Shortening

2 Cups of Sugar

5 Egg Yolks ( Set Egg Whites aside)

Add:     1 Cup of Buttermilk

2 Cups of All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

Mix In:       1/3 Cup of Amaretto Liquor

Fold In:         1 Cup of Sweetened Flaked Coconut

3/4 Cup of Chopped Walnuts

Stiffly Beat 5 Egg Whites and Fold in

Pour Batter into 1 Steamer Pan(  8 x 12) this is what I ship cakes in! sprayed with Pam, or (3) 8 inch Cake Pans

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes for Steamer Pan or 25 minutes for layers.


Frost With Cream Cheese Frosting

Sprinkle top of cake with 1/2 cup of Chopped Walnuts and 1/2 Cup of Sweetened Flaked Coconut.


Gather Up: 8 oz of softened Cream Cheese, 1 Stick of Softened Butter, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla

In a Medium Size Bowl Mix:  1 (8 0z) package of softened Cream Cheese

1 Stick (1/2 Cup) softened Butter

1 teaspoon of Vanilla

Add:  4 Cups of Powdered Sugar

This will be very hard to mix at first but just keep at it and miraculously it beats up to smooth wonderful frosting!  People love anything I put this Cream Cheese Frosting on!

This Cake is a Winter Shipper.  It arrives in perfect for when the temperature outside is 50 degrees or below!


With all the Ice and Snow out there and schools out this week I’m sure Overnight Monkey Bread would be a Delicious treat for the kids to go with their hot chocolate after a long day of playing outside!

It’s sooo easy to make!


Gather Up: Frozen Dinner Roll Balls, sugar, butterscotch pudding mix, ground cinnamon, butter and pecans

Spray A Bundt Pan with Pam

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of either chopped or whole Pecans in the bottom of the Pan

In a small bowl Mix:

3/4 Cup of Sugar

1 (3 1/2 oz) package of Butterscotch/Caramel Pudding Mix (NOT INSTANT!)

Sprinkle mixture over the top of the Bread Balls in the Bundt Pan

Melt 1 stick (1/2 Cup) plus 2 Tablespoons of Butter and pour over the Bread Balls.

Cover loosely and let rise usually 6-8 hours (Overnight)(My leave in the Microwave to retain moisture but don’t forget it’s there!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Let it Cool for 10 minutes and then invert pan onto a serving plate.  Or a Steamer Pan for Shipping!

Use a spoon to get out any remaining caramel stuck in the pan.

Serve with Cream Cheese frosting to dip pieces in!





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Menopause through the Eyes of a Gynecologist

Although I have been a practicing gynecologist for 26 years when menopause hit right as...
article post

High School & Getting into College

I once asked a patient of mine who is the Vice Superintendent of schools “what is the...
article post

Destination Desserts

  One of the hardest emotional times a mother can experience is having her children...
article post