Posted at 4:23 am , on May 5, 2020
During this pandemic, I have the privilege and pleasure of homeschooling my Grands two to three days a week so my daughter can do her job as a behavioral therapist for special needs children, an essential service so the children don’t fall behind with their development.
In addition to school work and online meetings, I try to come up with creative and fun hands-on activities and cooking is something that both Grandsons enjoy. Measuring and mixing are great for math and organizational skills and I’m attempting to expand their palates as well.
This recipe was simple enough that my almost-eight-year-old Grandson could do it all by himself with just my supervision! Although he thought the can of cream of celery soup looked like “slime” and the mixture was “gross,” he loved it when he tasted the finished product.
I treasure my memories of cooking with my Nana and know that although the virus has been a tough time to live through, this will also be remembered as a time when family was truly put above all else and we created some great meals together.
Posted at 3:29 am , on April 30, 2020
Dr. Zelinsky didn’t just offer good advice to her therapy clients, she walked the walk. When she felt her patience level and usually upbeat attitude dipping she booked a weekend at her favorite spa.
Tranquil Vines was a little spot tucked behind a family vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains. She’d have privacy yet enjoy the company of others with family-style meals on the patio. She could choose to partake in yoga sessions or meditate alone. And she always looked forward to sipping new varietals in the winery.
“Dr. Zee! It’s been a minute. How are you?” The winery and spa owner worked all aspects of the business, today pouring in the tasting room.
Posted at 4:21 am , on April 21, 2020
This is my husband’s favorite meal and is packed with rich flavors in every scrumptious bite. It is NOT a quick and easy recipe and I won’t be preparing it when we are underway on long passages. It’s for special occasions and fills the cabin with an amazing scent for hours as it simmers.
I made this on a Thursday during the Pandemic. The special occasion? Because Aaron gets up early every day to go to a job in a very scary time to support our family. My job is to help care for our Grands so my daughter can work, keep our home clean and tidy, and feed him. Because I now shop only once a week and we have a teeny fridge and no freezer, I’ve been sticking with simple proteins and veggies. But once a week, I plan something special to show him my appreciation and love … and he eats up both! 🙂 Bonus is that Tiki gets the beef bones!
The key to this recipe is to start early and simmer for hours, allow another few hours to sit covered, then put in the oven for the final hour. No knives are needed when it has been cooked all day … it is falling off the bone and fork tender. It truly is OHMYGOD delish!
Posted at 1:29 pm , on April 16, 2020
Today is a significant date. First and foremost, it is my husband’s birthday. Aaron, the Captain of our boat and my heart, was born in 1964 and is 56 today. He unselfishly gives of his time and talent, and most of all, Love, to his friends and family. He is completely devoted to our three Grands and drops everything to care for them. He coaches Little League, builds props for my daughter’s photography business, mans the barbecue and is known as the “Tickle Monster” by the GrandBoys. He’s a great role model for Cody and Matthew, and Ellie is definitely a “Papy’s Girl.” This from a guy who never had children of his own and became a step-father when my kids were teens! We are blessed to have him in our lives.
Posted at 3:22 am , on April 16, 2020
It was hard to ignore the heart-shaped decor in the hotel lobby. When asked if she wanted two keys, Delilah snapped at the receptionist.
“Do I look like I’m with someone? One key will suffice.”
Arriving for dinner, the hostess questioned if there would be others in her party.
“I clearly made the reservation for one. I’d appreciate a window table and a bottle of the house red.”
Posted at 10:02 am , on April 9, 2020
Homemade horseradish sauce is so easy that we haven’t had store-bought since I discovered how to make it myself a few years ago. It literally takes minutes and can be enhanced with flavored vinegar and salt, kept traditional, or made creamy and the sharp flavor down-played by adding sour cream.
One five-inch piece makes about three cups of traditional horseradish sauce. It can be stored in a glass jar with a tight lid in the fridge for many months and does taste stronger the longer it sits. When mixed with sour cream, it should be used within a week, so just take out a few tablespoons at a time for the creamy version and store the remainder.
Top with finely chopped chives for a nice presentation.
Posted at 3:24 am , on April 7, 2020
This is a flavorful meal that presents beautifully in minutes. I’ll eat any seafood but hubby is a bit pickier, especially when it comes to shellfish. We both love scallops as they don’t have a strong “fishy” taste and do have a “meaty” texture.
The trick to scallops is twofold: they need to be fresh and not overcooked. If they have a fishy smell or are slimy, don’t use them. The ones I bought were out of the shell and cleaned, fresh (not frozen) vacuum-packed wild products of the United States. If you buy frozen and defrost, they may have a mealy texture.
When you cook, watch them closely and only cook until opaque on both sides. Take one out and cut in half to test for doneness. We personally like ours a tad on the undercooked side so ours are done when still just a bit transparent and shiny in the very middle. If you aren’t a fan of almost-sushi, cook until firm but not hard and fully white in the middle.
Posted at 3:26 am , on March 24, 2020
Matzah Ball Soup is a staple first course at Passover Seder’s and also served year-round in many Jewish homes. It’s a close second to Chicken Noodle Soup for treating colds and oh, so good on any dreary day.
My all-time favorite recipe was made by Nana Yetta Finberg, my former husband’s grandmother. Her balls were dense yet not doughy and it has taken me over two decades to get them just right.
Her broth was made from a whole chicken and veggies simmered for hours then strained many, many times to get it perfectly clear and golden. I cheat by using chicken broth to save time but I do roast veggies and add to the broth to simmer for an hour before straining. My broth is not as clear as hers, because I simmer the balls in the broth and then strain one more time. The flavor of both the broth and balls is pretty satisfying!
Posted at 3:56 am , on March 19, 2020
Au lit: le baiser, 1892. By French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Dr. Zelinsky opened her office door to find her client upside down in the middle of the room, performing a perfect headstand.
“Hey, Dr. Zee. I started yoga like you suggested. This is my favorite pose. Come join me!”
“Very nice, Brandy. But I prefer my sessions right side up.”
Brandy gracefully descended and went to lounge on the couch, chattering all the while.
“I’ve been to a class every day this week. Who knew there were so many styles? That Jivamukti is too “out there” with all the chanting, and Yin just dragged on and on. But Vinyasa is definitely my groove. Great idea. Do you do yoga?”
Posted at 5:55 am , on March 5, 2020
Athena did the dishes after dinner and poured herself a glass of wine. She wasn’t sure she was ready but there was no reason to delay any longer. She took a deep breath and opened the envelope. Her eyes glanced over the paragraphs explaining the test and jumped to the results.
Just as she had always believed, the people who raised her were not her biological parents. There was never a doubt that they loved her, but she always had a feeling that she was different. She questioned her mother once when she was a teen and was quickly and sternly rebuffed for asking. She never brought it up again.
When her father passed she discreetly trimmed a bit of his thumbnail and stored it in a sealed container. She did the same when her mother passed a month ago, and both were sent to a genetics lab.