Monday, June 30, 2014

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

When I wake up super early; 3:30 with Venus in the sky, I get hungry earlier. Today I made blueberry buttermilk pancakes.

My Vice, Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables

Bok choy
Brussels sprouts
Chinese cabbage
Collard greens
Daikon radish
Land cress
Mustard greens
Shepherd's purse

and I love to eat
Raw Onions and Garlic!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sewing Baking and Ironing on a Hot Day

Baking, Sewing and Ironing are what I do on sweltering summer days. I find sewing simple hems for cloth napkins and tablecloths very medatative and soothing especially with iced seltzer as my beverage and wet hair.

Mexico + Germany

I ate leftover german potato salad on a home made tortilla with lots of slices of raw red onion.
This food is Mexico meets Europe!

Stray and Abandoned Computers

All of my computers have been cast offs, and hand me downs, and trash pickins. The latest one a beautiful Mac, (1998) was inherited from from URI's Music Library, a few years ago. Today it has finally bit the dust. We are hunting for cast offs from Bill's school. Stay tuned. Donations accepted. Looking for a non portable simple desk top. Nothing fancy.

Community Mending Library

Love this!!

Avocado Mango Tomato Salad

Last night we went to a 60th birthday party in the backyard beach cottage of our longtime friend who is now running an American School in Bejing.

We all brought favorite appetizers. I fried and salted corn tortillas and brought them in a basket wrapped in a striped cloth with cold chili and a bottle of Cholula.

I wore my newly repaired black vest and polka dotted skirt Johnny Rodriguez sent me. We saw friends we haven't seen in decades.

Someone brought this salad and I ate it on my corn tortillas.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in oil. Toss in mangoes, avocado and red onion to coat. Serve immediately.



1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 mangoes, cubed
2 avocados, cubed
1/2 small red onion, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

I add Cholula hot sauce,

I add chopped tomatoes, corn, black beans, eat on freshly fried crisp salted corn tortillas.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Two Pieces

Hypo-Mania Vest

Years ago I stayed with friends in CT on my trip home from a pavement pounding portfolio day in NYC. I was so hopped up I couldn't sleep. At 3 in the morning I started cleaning their kitchen stove and counters and microwave. I threw my black vest in with my 2 canvas bags and washed them in their basement washing machine.
The result was my favorite black linen vest got ripped and raggedy. I was devastated and embarrassed. What was I thinking?

I continued to wear it, looking like a character from Oliver Twist. Wearing it was punishment. If I kept my right arm down, or hid it with my dog walking shoulder bag, I could hide the major raggedy seam. it was awkward because I am left-handed and prefer to wear my bag on the left side. I was always reminded. I was still my favorite vest, and I wore it this way for 15 years.
Yesterday I opened up my sewing machine and hemmed the raggedy seam. It still has wonky spots but it is still a great vest. Now I wear it as a reminder of how bad I can get in hypo-mania.

Chief's Bathtub

Years ago we rented a fabulous apartment on Grand Street up on the hill off Park Avenue. We never tired of the view of the City hills houses and waterfall. When I washed the dishes or got dressed in the morning I gravitated towards the view. We had a fireplace too! The bathroom was also spectacular. It was a real room, a black and white 1920's tiled room with a built in tub. My husband made beer in the tub. I took baths in it with my two 80 pound dogs resting nearby. We had been told the Police Chief lived there years ago. When sudsing I always imagined the Chief of Police taking a bath in my tub.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sweet Tart or Savory Popsicles

My friend gave us a bunch of frozen raspberries. I buzzed them in my blender with orange juice and poured them into popsickle molds. Nice and tart!

You can make molds from paper cup and popsickle sticks.

I love hot and tart things. Especially in Summer
I'd probably like a pickle juice popsickle.
Or spicy black bean and red onion popsickle.

This Morning

I woke at 3:30 AM from the school schedule. My dog was up too. I hung my laundry on the squeaky clothesline by the light of Venus! By 6:30AM I filled my beloved vintage Waring one-speed blender with 8 large ice cubes. I added cold coffee and chocolate syrup. It was refreshing and perfect.
Original recipe from here makes 1 pint.

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine the water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together in a saucepan over low heat;
(I'll use a double boiler!)whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir the vanilla into the sauce. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until serving.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Soda

8 ice cubes in a thermal mug,
lots of seltzer, a splash of cola, a dash of vanilla. Optional: a splash of black coffee.

Drink with 3 colorful straws!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ms. Balcells’s Parties are Legendary

Once, she hosted a dinner for the Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes and his wife. When their plane was delayed for hours, she had the dinner served, then had the entire table cleared and set again so that when the couple finally arrived it appeared as if the party was just starting.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Classic Bistro

The owner, Michel Bosshard, 77, covers his big belly with a white chef’s apron and always wears a red bow tie. He welcomes his guests with slices of a fat, garlicky, cured sausage that he cuts with a large knife and serves with a pleasant, bubbly white wine from the Loire.

“You have to drink it without making a face because it’s a gift I offer you,” he said.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chili on a Hot Day

I'm making a big pot of spicy chili. I am simmering black beans, lentils, chopped onions, chopped celery, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh garlic, kombu, wine, ground round, frozen corn niblets, leftover wine, dried habeneros, cumin, oregano, dash of cayenne, kosher salt,

later. . .

It simmered all day in the slow cooker (at 225) and smelled great. It was delicious on a bed of spinach with a blob of plain yogurt.


I realized I have my very own dumpster pool! My bathtub. I took a bubble bath in dim light. It was glorious. It has been years. In winter it is impossible with 50 degree house temps.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cold Soba Noodle Salad

I was rummaging around my cupboard and found soba noodles I bought eons ago at job lot. I boiled a pot of water and cooked them and cooled them off. Then later I chopped cabbage and sauteed it in oil, soy sauce and hot chili rooster sauce. We were out of toasted sesame oil so i added peanut butter! I chopped red onions and added them after the cabbage cooled. Then I soaked and cooked a pot of red kidney beans and added them. We ate this on a bed of spinach.

Free Fitness

When my mood lifts I dance in my living room all night!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spring Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Spring Blueberry buckwheat pancakes under the strawberry moon. Our local market sells buttermilk and it has changed our life. We woke to a pink dawn and made pancakes.

Double the recipe to have your own mix on hand.

1 cup buttermilk
1 egg or applesauce
6 tablespoons whole wheat flour (or blend with oats, rice flour, and cornflour)
6 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 tablespoons oil

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spontaneous Sweet Potato Scones

I didn't plan on making these until I saw the sweet potato waiting to be rescued.

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons shortening
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup low fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cooked sweet potato
sprinkles of cinnamon to taste
a handful of sweetened dried cranberries, raisins or blueberries

taste test the batter to see if it needs more salt or sugar. . . .

Preheat oven. Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl. I like to crumble the shortening in with the flour using my fingers. Add yogurt, milk and beaten egg. Stir and scoop 1/4 scoops blobs onto greased pans. I use a greased cast iron skillet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

They are light and delicious.

Strawberry Moon

Yesterday when I was out walking Lily I saw two legs hanging off a big green dumpster. I couldn't tell what I was looking at until the legs became animated revealing a torso. It was Ray in his airplane pajamas scouting for treasures. "I'm being an environmentalist" he said, placing a third Hires root beer can on the sidewalk. He had a white 13 gallon bag of household trash in his hand and was eying the gallon-jug inside to add to his collection of recyclables. I adore Ray.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tricolor Pasta Salad

We attended a picnic and someone made this salad. I haven't stopped thinking about it.


1 (16 oz package) tricolor pasta

vegetables of your choice,

Your favorite salad dressing home made or 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-Robusto salad dressing


Cook pasta aldente. Drain and rinse in cold water to fast-cool.

Add your favorite vegetables:
chopped black olives, chopped yellow, red or green bell peppers, chopped red onion or anything you'd like. I like parboiled broccoli, chopped raw celery, shredded carrot. Sometimes I like to use chopped cukes and chopped tomatoes.

Combine vegetables In a large bowl or plastic tub, with the cooled pasta and the Italian dressing. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 1 hour.

Little Discoveries

I have noticed that my cooking discoveries happen when I have made a recipe a million times. Today I decided to bake my granola at an even lower temperature than usual (250 degrees rather than 300 degrees) so rather than having to stir it every five minutes, I could run around and do other things while it was baking, and stir it every 20 minutes.