Quote

"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Friday, November 24, 2017

Star Trek Cruise 2018

Star Trek Cruise 2018





Another opportunity to meet science fiction fans.


World Con 76 San Jose, CA August 16-20, 2018

World Con 76 San Jose, CA August 16-20, 2018

This is an opportunity for writers or lovers of science fiction and fantasy to meet other authors, share their work, participate in workshops and events, and vote in the Hugo Awards.

http://www.worldcon76.org/


Friday, October 6, 2017

Baked Potato Salad



Baked Potato Salad
Adapted from: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/print/3556
But also referenced PotatoGoodness.com recipe


Ingredients:

5 medium to large white potatoes, peeled
1 cup plain yogurt
1 TBspn mayo
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Medium slice, Mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 Cup Imitation Bacon bits
Ground black pepper to taste
A palmful of dry parsley, crushed
A few dashes of Parmesan cheese
Garnish: a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (Optional)


Process:

Place potatoes in microwaveable dish. Pierce with fork. Cook on high for six minutes or more until cooked.
Let potatoes cool before dicing.
Add diced potatoes to large bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients, except garnish.
Mix and stir well until potatoes are coated.

Cover bowl, place in frig to cool.
Add garnish to individual servings.

I usually don´t add salt to my recipes but I just thought, maybe I should make sure I offer a salt shaker to guests.

Also, Lucy likes it. Lucy is a friend who is brave enough to try some of my recipes. This is the first recipe she has liked :-)








Dressed Up Store Bought Cake

Dressed Up Store Bought Cake

Part of my morning routine is to have coffee and a slice of store bought nut cake. One morning, I decided to dress up my usual slice of nut cake with a plain yogurt sauce, a few dried blueberries, banana slices and a few dashes of cinnamon. Presto: breakfast.













Happiness is Cake

Happiness is Cake

When you move to another country, you make alot of adjustments. One is finding a favorite snack. In Mexico, these cakes are called Pinguinos. Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting with a little white icing inside.





A Dish of Apple Pie

A Dish of Apple Pie
Adapted from: http://www.curryandcomfort.com/2012/11/2-minute-apple-pie-in-mug.html

While the original recipe was a mug recipe, I used a small dessert dish.

This recipe is similar to Amy Dacyczyn´s Apple Crisp recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 an apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 Tsp flour
1 Tsp olive oil
a few dashes of Cinnamon
a dash of Nutmeg
1/2 Tbsp lime juice concentrate
Toppings: crushed cookies, whipped cream or ice cream


Process:

Mix all ingredients together, except toppings.
Stir well.
Microwave 1 minute on high.
Add toppings.






Monday, September 25, 2017

My New Blender

My New Blender

In a previous post, I had discussed thinking about buying a convection oven, a toaster or a blender.

I have solved my blender problem.





My blender's name is Marcos. He is a former bartender. Now, he runs a juice bar  on Paseo de Montejo at Calle 39 where you can choose from various preselected fruit blends for a tasty fruit smoothie. Or, Marcos lets you pick your own fruit combinations.

I often get banana, dragonfruit and papaya with water and no sugar.

As with most tiendas, Marcos has no set hours, you just have to catch him when he's open.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thinking About Fritters

I have been thinking about making vegetable fritters for weeks.
Also, I have been thinking about food waste.

I thought vegetable fritters would be one solution to reduce vegetable waste.
So, I searched for new vegetable fritter recipes and found:

Mother Earth News – Vegetable Fritters 
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/seasonal-recipes/vegetable-fritters-recipe-zerz1410zdeh

Taste Without Waste – Vegetable Fritters 
https://tastewithoutwaste.com/2014/02/07/vegetable-fritters/ 

The Guardian – Vegetable Fritters
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/06/vegetable-fritter-recipe-anna-jones-the-modern-cook 

The Kitchn – How to Make Fritters Out of Any Vegetable 
http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-fritters-out-of-any-vegetable-231408 

While I enjoyed reading these recipes and learned a few things, either I did not have all the ingredients or it seemed too complex for me, so I went back to my fritters recipe and made few revisions.


Vegetable Fritters

Ingredients:

leftover tomato and onions, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 cup of frozen diced mixed vegetables
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
¼ cup white cheese, grated (optional)
ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: Lime Juice
Makes about 12-15 small fritters.



 
Not all ingredients used are shown.






Process:

Place diced tomato, onion and garlic in a small bowl, microwave for one minute on high. Set aside.
Place frozen mixed vegetables in a small bowl, microwave for two minutes on high. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add egg, milk, and Tabasco Sauce, mix well.
Smash batter lumps with the back of your spoon to make batter smooth.
Add tomato, onion, garlic and vegetables to batter.
Add grated cheese.
Stir thoroughly.

Add oil to medium or large skillet.
Heat oil until it sizzles.

Use large spoon to scoop up batter mixture.
Drop the batter mixture into skillet, leave room for other fritters.
Press down on batter mixture with spoon to flatten.
Cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side until fritter is brown on both sides.

If fritter is thick, cook a little longer on each side to avoid uncooked batter.

Remove cooked fritters to a plate, drain oil.
Sprinkle with a little lime juice. 


Note: did not use Basil. 

Alternative: Canned Spinach Fritters

All I did was make the batter and mix in two tablespoons of twice drained canned spinach instead of tomato, onion, garlic and vegs, and cooked the fritters the same way as the vegetable fritters.


Ideas for future fritters: use diced cooked potatoes, shredded carrots, or mashed beans; spices: cumin or paprika.






While my fritters came out well, the amount of dirty dishes and utensils I made was overwhelming. Plus, I am on my fourth hot plate and this one is finicky, too, and my new skillet cooks unevenly, so I had to move the fitters around in the skillet to the areas where they would cook not burn.

If I had had any fritters left, I would have frozen them.


But, I think next time, I will slice and dice the veggie items, put them in containers and store for a bit. Then, make up a batch of dry batter mix and store it in a container.

Then, maybe when I make fritters next, it might be easier. Who knows.

More Links:


Sustainable Table
http://www.gracelinks.org/tag/main_dishes




Friday, August 18, 2017

Rice, Shrimp and Vegetable Salad

Rice, Shrimp and Vegetable Salad

Yes, this recipe is easy. I found this salad cool and fresh to the taste.

 Ingredients:

20 small, shelled shrimp,f rozen
a dash of garlic powder
a dash of lime juice, concentrated
1/4 Chayote, sliced
1/4 onion, sliced
1/4 pepino, sliced and chopped
1 small tomato, sliced
Leftover white rice
1 dash of Italian dressing
ground black pepper to taste


Process:

 If you don't have any leftover white rice, it's easy to make. Just don't walk away and let the rice burn.

White Rice
1 cup White Rice
2 cups water
Add both to a pot.
Stir.
Place lid on pot.
Heat to simmer.
Simmer about 15-20 minutes, until water has been absorbed or evaporated.
If you want the rice cold, place in a covered container and put in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.
This batch of rice will be more than you need for this recipe.

Shrimp
Add about 20 small shrimp into a glass bowl.
Add 1/2 capful of lime juice concentrate.
Add a dash of garlic powder.
Stir thoroughly.
Microwave 2 minutes.
Remove and drain shrimp.

Add  about a cup of cooked rice to bowl.
Add cooked shrimp.
Add cut vegetables.
Add a dash of Italian dressing.
Add ground black pepper to taste.










Thursday, August 17, 2017

Easy Shrimp Pasta



Easy Shrimp Pasta




Don’t try to cook when you are hungry and tired. At least, that is a caveat I should observe.

I had had a long day. It was 7:30 at night and I was hungry and tired. I thought about making chicken salad tacos again, but I had had them for lunch.

So, I thought about what I had on hand: frozen vegetables, tortillas, a bit of onion, pasta, rice, cream cheese, black olives, raisins, canned soup, milk, fruit juice, and crackers. Hmmmm, Aha, I had frozen shrimp and I had been dying to try some shrimp recipes.


My GoTo recipe website is “Simply Recipes” (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/). I dream someday I will be able to cook like Elise but that’s probably a fantasy, not gonna happen.


But, it is soothing to read her recipes, she makes you feel like “You Can Do It!” I already knew I probably did not have all the ingredients or skill to handle most of the recipes but I saved a few for future experiments.


Then, I went to “Cooks.com" (http://www.cooks.com/), where I knew I would probably find a few easy recipes. I found one, “Quick and Easy Shrimp Scampi.” Oh my, what is scampi?


I started with a pot of water and a package of spaghetti. While I appreciate all those various types of pasta, spaghetti works for me for most pasta recipes.


As the water was heating up, I struggled to skin a garlic clove. After finally getting the skin off, I chopped the clove into small pieces and added them to a small skillet sitting on the counter.


Then, I added a little olive oil, a dab of butter, a palmfull of crushed parsley, black pepper and 2 grains of rock salt to the skillet.

I kept reading the recipe, then did a few exercises while waiting for the water to boil. I knew if I left the kitchen a disaster was predictable.


Ok, water is boiling, add pasta, a dab of olive oil and wait until it is done. I have a two burner hot plate but only use one for cooking, the other holds a stack of pots, pans and lids, like the Tower of Pisa, better not to touch.


When I tested a strand of spaghetti, it was not done. I wondered just how chewy could I tolerate in order to finish this dish quickly?


A few more exercises, then I poured a bit of Blanco POX into a sherry glass. POX is a Mayan alcoholic beverage made from corn. I had bought two types, one was vanilla flavored with the alcohol percentage similar to Sherry, it is smooth and tasty. The other was Blanco, original unflavored, it has the alcohol percentage of hard liquor. One sip and “Fire Water” came to mind.


As a side note, I should not be drinking alcohol but I occasionally fall for the romance of liquor. Add in a little history and mystery and POX is a very romantic beverage.
( http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/07/pox-a-mayan-elixir-that-embraces-the-soul-and-caresses-the-heart/)



I tested the pasta again, almost done. I removed the pot from the burner and set it aside. With the skillet on the burner, now, I began to heat up the garlic and spices.

Gosh, I have to thaw the frozen shrimp. I knew there was a way but I just put about 20 small shelled shrimp in a glass bowl and microwaved them for a minute. It worked.


Now, I added the drained shrimp to the oil and spice mixture. Then, I got the idea, add some of those black olives. I got the container out of the frig, darn, they were whole olives, but pitted. So, I just spooned a few into the skillet without slicing them. I let the mixture cook for about a minute more.


After draining the pasta, I forked a serving onto a plate and topped it with the cooked shrimp mixture and sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of Parmesan cheese.


While the mixture was tasty, the shrimp got lost in the pasta. I couldn’t finish the POX, so I poured it over the remaining pasta and stored the leftovers in the frig. Will see later if the POX has any effect when I use the pasta later.


Gosh, according to Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scampi) Scampi means large shrimp prepared with a garlic-flavored sauce. So, I am calling my recipe, Easy Shrimp Pasta since my shrimp were not large, not tiny, not medium but small.





Ingredients:

20 small shelled frozen shrimp, thawed
1 package of spaghetti
Water to fill a pot 2/3rds full
2 dabs of olive oil
1 dab of butter
1 garlic clove, skinned and chopped
1 small palmfull of parsley, crush when adding to skillet
ground black pepper
salt to taste 
Optional: black olives, preferably sliced
Topping: Parmesan Cheese


Process:

Thaw shrimp in microwaveable bowl for one minute, set aside.

Add enough water to a pot to cook spaghetti, usually about 2/3rds full.
Once water is boiling, add spaghetti and a dab of olive oil.
Cook spaghetti about 8-10 minutes until spaghetti strands are tender and easy to chew.

In a skillet, add a dab of olive oil, chopped garlic, butter, parsley, and ground black pepper and salt to taste.
Drain the shrimp and add to mixture.
Optional: add olive slices.

Heat mixture on medium.
Stir mixture thoroughly.
Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Fork a serving of pasta on a plate.
Pour skillet mixture over pasta.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.