Friday, February 20, 2015

Options for Buying Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina (Dual Language Book) -- POD or eBook

Two difficulties presented themselves when I began to market Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina, a dual language book, I found that does not ship physical books or support PODs and if you live outside the United States shipping charges and delivery times can be a deterrent. In addition, Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina the eBook is not listed on yet.

Where to find Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina:
Partial list of outlets available. -- POD only
(not listed under author, Ria Stone, search by title)

Check international shipping charges and delivery times.

Barnes & Noble -- eBook and POD

Check international shipping charges and delivery times.

The Write Place -- eBook and POD

Generally, ships within the United States. Check regarding international shipping options.

Check international shipping charges and delivery times.

BooksAmillion -- POD Only

Surprisingly, prices vary on each site.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Grilled Mayo & Cheese with Tomato

Grilled Mayo & Cheese with Tomato

Using mayonnaise (Mayo) as a cooking "oil" is not only tasty but it burns slower, giving the cook more time to brown the bread rather than burn it.


Two slices or multi-grain loaf or other loaf
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
2-3 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese or other cheese
2-3 slices of tomato
Mayo as needed
Black pepper to taste


Grate cheese into a bowl.
Add Parmesan cheese.
Add black pepper.
Stir cheeses and pepper together.

Black Pepper & Tomato not shown.

Spread mayo on one slice of bread.
Place the slice mayo side down in a skillet.
Using a tablespoon, top bread with cheese mixture. Spread mixture to edges of bread.
Add tomato slices on top of cheese.
Spread second bread slice with mayo.
Place slice mayo side up on top.

Cook on medium-high about 1-2 minutes on each side until bread is brown.

Transfer to plate, cut in half.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tightwad Meal Planning for One (or Two) & Monthly Grocery List

As a single person and a non-cook, I find meal planning  almost impossible. Entertaining is a whole other ball game.

Because I only go grocery shopping once a month, I stock many standards like tuna fish, cheese, onions, potatoes, etc. (See grocery list below.)

Perishables are a challenge. Shelf Life Advice recommends: "...keeping leftovers...about 3-4 days, but some foods last a little longer."

I am exploring which foods freeze the best. I am not ready to make an investment of time and money to can or pickle foods.

Because I try to make a new recipe as often as possible, I have lots of leftovers. I am often guided more by what needs to be used now.

In the frig are a serving of noodle soup, a leftover baked potato, two portions of green salad, a meatloaf, remains of whole roasted chicken, 7 eggs, half a loaf of hard bread, half a loaf of sliced multi-grain bread, 1 opened pkg of chunk mozzarella cheese, 1 tomato, 2 potatoes, 2 small red onions, 7 half stalks of celery, 1 pkg turkey lunchmeat, a bit of peas and other items.

I find potatoes very versatile, plus they keep longer then other vegetables. I microwave them whole or in casseroles, fry them, boil them, and use them in a variety of dishes. So, I made potato pancakes using the leftover baked potato, first.

Then, I tackled the roasted chicken.

Without an oven, I occasionally buy a whole roasted chicken. The roasted chicken had already provided three meals, I deboned the remainder (2 breasts, neck and thigh) and diced the meat. I used one of the green salads and topped it with one portion of diced chicken, saved another portion of diced chicken to make chicken salad, froze a third portion to make chicken soup, and froze the bones to make chicken stock.

I am gradually learning to balance making new dishes and rehabbing leftovers to avoid spoilage. For example, because I make alot of fruit spritzers using a small amount of juice, a container of juice can go bad, so I freeze the juice in ice cube trays to make sure I don’t waste juice to spoilage. Later, I put one or two juice cubes in a glass and add club soda to make more juice spritzers.

When I buy a loaf of bread, I wrap half of it in another bag and freeze it, again to avoid spoilage.

Now, the freezer is full.

So, breakfast was potato pancakes. Lunch was salad with diced chicken. Don’t know what will be for dinner but my guess is it will involve leftovers.

Recent successful tightwad tactic:

Poured a dollop of vinegar into an almost empty mustard jar, closed with the lid, shook vigorously to capture the mustard remains, and saved the liquid as a vinaigrette dressing.

Monthly Grocery List

I don’t buy everything on this list at one time. I buy various items over time and store them. Then, when I go shopping, I buy items I need to replenish or items needed for recipes I am planning to make.

For planned recipes:
Wax paper/plastic wrap

Spices I have:
Garlic powder
Black peppercorns

Spices I need:
Caraway seeds
Coconut milk

Toilet paper
Dish soap, liquid
Laundry soap, liquid, sensitive
Trash bags
Quart or larger resealable food storage bags

Cranberry juice
Orange juice (calcium)
Apple juice
Grape juice, white/red
Jamaica, concentrate
Horchata, concentrate
Lime juice, concentrate

Cocoa Milk powder mix
Ensure mineral/vitamin Choc powdered drink mix
Tea bags
Instant coffee

Club soda
Tonic water
Ginger ale

Bread loaf
Flour tortillas

Olive oil

Peanut butter
Ranch salad dressing
Chili sauce
BBQ sauce
Tomato sauce
Salsa, canned

Baking powder

Pasta, various
Beans, black, refried, red, canned
Beans, garbanzo, white, dry
Mushrooms, canned

Iceberg lettuce
Green peppers or red peppers
Potatoes, white, yams

Figs (calcium)
Blueberries (frozen)
Fruit, canned, pineapple, peach, mixed

Oysters, canned
Salmon, canned, fresh, frozen?
Tuna fish, canned
Spam, canned

Fried plantains
Mini cakes

There are three tiendas (mom and pop convenience stores near me). I pick up bread, fresh vegetables & fruit, milk, soda, etc. if needed.

Friday, January 30, 2015

"Love is Universal" First Smashwords Forum Promo - Get 50% off Gina's Dream, 1st ed./English only

Gina's Dream
by Ria Stone

Get a 50% discount off the 1.99 retail price of Gina's Dream -- First Edition, English eBook, that includes a Bonus Article: My First Editor, as part of the First Smashwords Forum Promotion.

Go to Smashwords Forums to get coupon code. or
(discount promotion ends 2/28/2015)

Interested in a POD of Gina's Dream (& El Sueño de Gina)?  Find it at The Write Place:

For more about Ria Stone, visit:

Gina's Dream/El Sueño de Gina
Press Release

Ria Stone, has published Gina’s Dream, a science-fiction/romance, in print and as an eBook as a dual language book with The Write Place: (

In Gina’s Dream, Kit Brennan, SETA’s (Space Exploration Through Astronomy) Assistant Director, meets an unusual woman at a convention. She claims she is an alien. What is he to believe? What is he to do?

Kit’s co-worker sees her as a threat, first to his friend and then to humans. The co-worker seeks to discover Gina’s secrets to stop her.

Gina has broken the emissaries’ primary rule by telling Kit who she is. But, she is here to defend her world from a future invasion by humans. As Gina’s safety is threatened, what will she do to defend herself?

Caught in the middle between his co-worker’s fears and her defense, Kit has few choices but to let Gina follow her dream.

What would you do if you met an alien?


Gina’s Dream began as an idea after reading several research papers, in the early 1990s, where basic life functions were being manipulated for singular purposes without regard for the universe’s ecosystem.

Several characteristics run through Ria’s stories. Characters confront moral dilemmas with honesty, truth, fairness, self-responsibility, compassion, common sense, respect for science, curiosity, hard work, and optimism. Characters question the status quo. Spirituality, dreams, faith, and a belief in contributing to community and society to improve the lives of others now and in the future are underlying themes.

Category: Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction/Romance/Predictive Fiction/Social Commentary
Audience: 12+ Adult
Length: Novelette
Word Count: 23, 180
Language: English/Spanish
No illustrations

*Pen Name

Read more:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Silver Dollar Pancakes

I don't even know how to make pancakes, or it's more like I can't remember all the ingredients.

So, it's off to the internet to find a pancake recipe. Often when I search for a "simple" recipe, I find more "glorified" recipes than simple, so it is not always a straightforward task to find a recipe.

But, I got lucky, twice. I found a recipe for "Good Old Fashioned Pancakes" on A bonus was I just realized that their recipes offer an "adjust recipe" gadget that will give you the amount of ingredients needed for any number of servings. So, I was able to take the original recipe for 8 servings and adjust it for 4 servings. Cool.

But, as usual, I had to adapt the recipe for my needs.

Original Allrecipes Old Fashioned Pancakes recipe

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons white
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 egg
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

My Silver Dollar Pancake recipe

First, I couldn't handle the 1/2 and 2 tablespoons stuff or the 1/2 egg, so I made adjustments.


1 1/4 cup flour
2 tspns baking powder
1/4 tspn salt or less
1 1/2 tspn sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 tbspns olive oil

extra olive oil for skillet

Process:Mix dry ingredients together well.
Add milk, egg, and oil.
Stir and mash until mixture is smooth.
Batter should be slightly thick. If batter is too runny, add a little more flour and stir until batter is smooth.

Add a dab of olive oil to skillet.
Scoop up a tablespoon of batter, drop a circle of batter into the skillet leaving room for more batter. Drop three or more circles of batter into the skillet. When the batter bubbles throughout, flip the pancakes over to cook on the other side.

Pancakes cook quickly, so be careful not to cook them too long.

I went a little crazy. I wanted to add something to the pancakes but all I had was corn kernels, so I added 1/2 teaspoon to the top of the batter as it cooked and made Silver Dollar Corn Pancakes and they came out great.

Results: 16 silver dollar pancakes.

Potato Pancakes

Leftover Boiled Potato - Potato Pancakes


1 leftover potato or part of potato, mashed
1 egg
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 a stalk or less, diced
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1/4 tspn baking powder
s/p to taste
1/4 cup milk
A dab of olive oil


Add potato, egg, onion, celery, flour, baking powder, s/p and milk together.
Mix thoroughly.
Stir and mix until batter is smooth.
Add olive oil to skillet.
Heat to medium-high.
Drop a tablespoon of batter one at a time into skillet to make small pancakes.
Add olive oil to keep skillet oiled.
Pancakes cook quickly.
Like pancakes, batter will bubble, flip and cook on both sides until light to medium brown.
Continue making pancakes until batter is done.

Servings: 9 small pancakes.