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.
(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.

Boiled Potatoes

Boiled Potatoes


1 large mexican white potato
2/3 cup milk*
2/3 cup water
A dollop of olive oil
S/p to taste

Variation: Instead of milk, use equivalent amount of water.
Note: When using more than one potato, increase liquid.


Peel potato. Cut in half vertically.
Place in large microwave dish with a cover.
Add water and milk.
Add a dab of olive oil to top of each half.
s/p to taste.
Cook on high, 10 minutes.

Check periodically to make sure liquid does not boil dry. Add more water if needed.
Time may vary depending on size of potatoes and wattage of microwave.
Potato is done when you can pierce easily with a fork.

Note: To use leftover boiled potatoes, see Potato Pancakes 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Tightwad Kitchen Gadgets

In my departmento, I have a microwave, a two-burner electric stove and a crockpot.

Being a tightwad is always a challenge. Cooking in a small kitchen without an oven and other kitchen gadgets like a blender is also a challenge. Add in the unique characteristics of my kitchen gadgets and this compounds the challenge to cook inexpensively, healthy and tasty.

The microwave has only one temperature setting: high, and one way to set the time, push the red button to get one minute each time you push the button.

With finicky settings and I am beginning to think the burners on the two-burner electric stovetop transfer heat differently, using the electric stovetop is always a surprise. Liquids boils at half the settings. Finding simmer is still a mystery.

The wide range of kitchen gadgets that you can buy is endless. But, as a tightwad, I am always seeking ways to work with what I have.

Below are my kitchen gadgets. My two favorite gadgets are the handheld grater and my commuter coffee mug.

The grater is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to take apart and to put back together, so I love to grate cheeses and vegetables. The commuter coffee mug is one of my favorite thrift store finds, probably cost about a $1. But, I use it as a mocktail shaker most of the time.

My wooden cutting board is really solid. I use it to crush peanuts, cereal, ice, and other things for various recipes.

Surprisingly, I bought a melon ball scooper to use as an ice cream scooper but use it to scoop out apples and to make mini-meatballs.

The spatula is useful to get those last dregs and drabs out of jars of mayo, peanut butter and the like as well as scraping bowls to get the last of a mixture.

I use a coffee cup and spoons for measuring out ingredients.

The funnel can be used for many things. I often use it for making my own sodas.

I save plastic bottles. Fill a clean bottle with club soda and add a flavoring, as little or as much as you want depending on your tastes, like making a Spritzer. Below are just a few ideas for some Spritzer flavorings:
  • cold tea,
  • soft drinks, I like making a diet soda spritzer because I get the flavor and a bit of caffeine;
  • fruit juices, fresh or from a container;
  • concentrates, like lime, jamaica, horchata or others;
  • canned fruit juice;
  • coffee;
  • powdered drink mixes;
  • liquid drink mixes like Pina colada or coconut creme.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday (91) - Guy Williams (b. 1/14/1924)

Zorro, the perennial masked hero, has been portrayed in film, on TV and on stage by many, such as: Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Robert Livingston, John Carroll, Reed Hadley, Tyrone Power, Guy Williams, Frank Langella, Alain Delon, George Hamilton, Henry Darrow, Antonio Banderas, Christian Meier, and others in a wide variety of adaptations of the stories of Zorro by Johnston McCulley.

But, unofficially, many Zorro fans consider Guy Williams, the greatest Zorro ever.

Guy Williams, an Italian-American, was born in New York on 1/14/1924 and died on 4/30/1989.

Guy Williams and Gene Sheldon
as Zorro and Bernardo, his servant 

He gained fame acting in Walt Disney's TV production of  Zorro which ran from 1957 to 1959. The series was cancelled at the height of its popularity due to Disney's conflict with the broadcasting company that aired the show.

Guy's fans have created many online fansites as well as campaigned for variety of historic markers including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor their favorite Zorro.

Below are just a few of the Guy Williams/Zorro fan sites.

Guy Williams' Family website

Guy Williams Web Shrine with links

Beth Wilson's Guy Williams on Bonanza

Bill Cotter's Disney Page

Disney's Zorro Page

Many of Guy Williams fans wonder what happened to him after Disney's TV show Zorro was cancelled.

To learn the answer to that question and much more about Guy Williams' life and career, read Antoinette G. Lane's fine biography, "Guy Williams: Man Behind the Mask" listed on Amazon.

I interviewed Ms. Lane and posted the interview "An interview with Antoinette G. Lane" in an earlier blog post and a shorter version was featured on Boomer Cafe, "Zorro, a Masked Hero to Many Baby Boomers."

According to Ms. Lane, Guy's early training in fencing and horseback riding as well as his early modeling career made him a perfect candidate to star in Disney's Zorro.

Personally, I have a fond affection for the entire Walt Disney production of his 1950s TV show Zorro.

I learned from Ms. Lane's biography that Disney brought movie-making production techniques and quality to television production. This can be seen in the choreographed sword fights and horseback riding and chase scenes.

Disney also used Mexicans and Native Americans as actors and extras. The stories were set in the early history of California when it was ruled by the Spanish, providing an authentic historical context for the story.

Today, we celebrate the life
of a wonderful man and actor, Guy Williams.

Thanks to Kathy G. for the photograph.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Expresso de Arte & Casa Maryposa - Two new cafés

I was out on errands and found two new cafes. I was delighted.

I did not have the opportunity to try the menu at Expresso de Arte on Calle at 62 #445 x 53 y 51 in Centro but the decor was lovely.

The cafe is large and the menu includes Fetuccine Alfredo, Pannis y Ensaladas, smoothies, frappes and more. The café is open Lunes a Sábado 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Then, as I returned home, I saw a new cafe, Casa Maryposa, had opened near me. I decided to take a peek. The decor was heavenly with a butterfly theme. Lots of places to sit and a jardin in the back.

I wasn't hungry but decided to have a beverage. The menu ran from nachos to Fajitas, and had a wide selection of beverages and desserts. I got a chocolate frappe. Nothing cools you off like an ice cold frappe.

The owners were pleased to talk about their café because they had only been open about a week. They use fresh ingredients in their menu items.

The owners were kind enough to give me a sampling of their desserts.

Oh yum, I could not remember the last time I had such delicious desserts. The cookies are fantastic. The Banana Bread is great and the Spice Cake, moan!, it's really good.

Casa Maryposa is so close to my apartment, I can roll out of bed and have Banana Bread or Cookies, or Spice Cake!!!!

Casa Mayrposa
Calle 62 #360 x 41 y 43
Colonia Centro
Martes - Jueves 11:30 - 7:30
Viernes - Sábado 11:30 - 6:00

Facebook page to launch soon. "Casa Maryposa"