Posted at 2:33 am , on February 6, 2020
Amy was early and sat stiffly on the couch. It was her first time seeing a therapist and she wondered if she should lay down.
“Hello, Amy. I’m Dr. Zelinsky.”
Amy stood, tentatively shook the offered hand, and sat back down on the edge of the cushion. The doctor eased onto an adjacent chair.
“How can I help?”
Amy took a deep breath. “I’ve never done this before. I’m usually strong but lately I can’t shake this depression.”
Posted at 4:22 am , on January 28, 2020
Winter means Comfort Food. I love cooking hearty stews and soups that take all day to simmer and develop complex flavors. This one is super-easy as it’s just a bit of chopping with the majority of the ingredients coming from cans.
Canned foods will be a staple for us when we are on long passages and in many cases actually provide a greater source of vitamins than fresh ingredients. Fresh produce, for example, is often harvested before it is fully ripened in order to get it to the markets before it starts to spoil. Canned foods are picked at the peak of ripeness and cooked and processed within hours, preserving the vitamin content. Check ingredients to ensure that no salt or preservatives have been added if you are concerned with sodium intake. Many canned foods are available in organic, no/low salt versions.
Posted at 4:15 am , on January 23, 2020
I took teeny bites of the protein bar as I watched the screen showing my husband’s vital signs. Different colored graphs scrolled by on a continuous roller coaster but no alarms were ringing so I figured things must be stable. His eyes were closed and his breathing was even. I folded the empty wrapper into a small square and put it in my pocket.
We’d just spent a week in Annapolis, Maryland at the longest running and biggest sailboat show in the United States. We walked miles and talked for hours to different vendors about systems and products to enhance our future lifestyle of living off the grid and circumnavigating the globe. Solar panels to create our own electricity, celestial navigation books, battery monitors, a stainless steel folding swim ladder, “marriage saver” headsets for bow to stern communication, and lots and lots of conversations with other sailors.
Posted at 4:41 am , on January 14, 2020
A large part of learning to cook as an adult is the willingness (on my part) to try new things. As the recipient of my trial and error dishes, Hubby is a bit more skeptical. He’s a basic meat and potatoes kind of guy and also loves his carbs.
Veggies in particular don’t thrill him, unless they are covered with cheese or sauce. Since retiring, I have been on a mission to eat healthier so created this yummy side dish that was a hit with both Hubby and his Dad and there were no leftovers. (I served this with a barbecued tri tip.) The squash, when made al dente, has a similar tooth to a pasta noodle and doesn’t contribute much to the flavor, which is carried almost exclusively by the pesto sauce.
Posted at 4:10 am , on January 9, 2020
“Watch your step!” Wendy shouted, jerking him to the side.
“What the hell?” Ben shook his arm free from Wendy’s grasp. “Do you really think that stepping on a piece of broken cement will hurt mama?”
“I’m not taking any chances. We need all the luck we can get. And we’re already late, so get a move on.” Wendy strode ahead, eyes down to watch for sidewalk cracks, leaving Ben shaking his head and staring after her.
Posted at 4:26 am , on December 31, 2019
In past years, I’ve cooked a whole turkey for just hubby and I for Thanksgiving. The leftovers resulted in turkey sliders, turkey casserole and turkey soup. All good, but a bit boring three or four days in a row! So this year I decided to try turkey thighs, mainly because hubby and I prefer dark meat and it seemed like a great one-meal option.
These babies looked smaller in the packaging! At just over a pound each, they were more than enough for a meal for the two of us and presented beautifully with all the traditional side dishes. I chose green beans sauteed in balsamic vinegar, an oyster-pancetta stuffing and gravy (made a day earlier with chicken wings for the stock) and buttered rolls.
Tips: Take the thighs out of the fridge about 30 minutes before putting in the oven so they aren’t ice cold and will cook more evenly. If you don’t have, or aren’t a fan of, poultry seasoning, simple salt and pepper works fine.
Posted at 10:49 am , on December 26, 2019
This was my first time brining a turkey. Usually, I buy a fresh bird and and it gets brought to room temp, rubbed or coated with herbs and popped into the oven and roasted. This year, hubby wanted to slow-smoke our Christmas turkey and we decided to brine it first.
Result: Amazingness! Consensus around the table was that it was the most moist and flavorful bird any of us have ever had.
I believe the secret to the deliciousness is to use similar spices in the brining and cooking to layer the flavor profile. You can use this recipe whether you are smoking as we did or cooking your bird in the oven.
Posted at 11:10 am , on December 22, 2019
Pho (pronounced Fah) is my go-to meal when hubby or I come down with a cold. Yes, I’m a good Jewish girl, but the magical combination of aromatic spices and peppery heat have the edge over a pot of chicken soup in my galley. I can make chicken soup with my eyes closed (figuratively!), yet every attempt at the signatory pho broth has eluded me until this recent creation during a particularly rotten bout of snuffy noses and sore throats. O.M.G!!! It is beyond delish!
I took a shortcut by using beef bouillon instead of making my own stock as I didn’t have the extra three hours necessary to roast and simmer the beef bones. The real secret in this broth comes from toasting the spices and roasting the veggies, and the chuck roast adds a definite depth of beef flavor.
Posted at 5:03 am , on December 17, 2019
Living in California, we have access to avocados year-round and it’s one of my favorite ingredients in meals and snacks. I found a recipe that called for cracking an egg into each hole, and it was a total failure … it didn’t note that the avocados needed to be extra large or the eggs needed to be extra small or the whole white would run out in a blob. So I tweaked it a bit by scrambling the eggs and making guacamole from the scooped out flesh. Delish and healthy!
All of these ingredients are always in stock at our local Grocery Outlet. Click here for their Facebook Page. I highly encourage everyone to check out this store for two reasons: 1) The variety of products at great prices is amazing! (You won’t find a better deal on avocados outside of Mexico!) and 2) The owners, Ellie & Rita Zgheib, are huge supporters of our community. They have donated thousands of dollars of products to those in need and have sponsored donation drives for our Food Bank. Good people!!!
Variations: If you like a bit of spice, add hot sauce to the guac mixture. You can also use other varieties of cheese and top with fresh herbs. Instead of pork bacon you could use turkey bacon for a healthy twist.
Posted at 3:51 am , on December 12, 2019
It had been a week of “lasts.” Her last term paper, her last shift at the coffee shop, her last Taco Tuesday at Don Jose’s. She heard the toilet flush and realized that this would be the last time Zoe would slip under the covers next to her in their bed.
Eve stared at the crack in the ceiling. It was barely visible when they’d moved in three years ago and she’d emailed the property management company. She didn’t want to be responsible for the repair when they moved out tomorrow.
“We better get our deposit back,” Eve stated as Zoe entered the room.
“Let it go, Elsa,” Zoe quipped back. “I think they’ll care less about the crack then the chalkboard paint in the kitchen.”
“They should consider that an upgrade! They also got a veggie garden out of us. It took us weeks to till that soil.”