Saturday, May 28, 2016


Taken in St. Petersburg, Russia on Nevskiy Prospekt. This man was a soldier who  served in WW II.  He came to see old friends and after an hour, realizes he's the only one left from his unit.

I just can't imagine. Drudging up your memories. Your friends who lost their life in battle. One day you were laughing over a meal, the next a shell hit where they were instead of you. Bullets whizzing past you, just living off your adrenaline, knowing that at any time one could blow right through you and you'll just stop.

And then, decades later, hundreds clap and cheer while you walk down the street, but nobody walks beside you. You can't talk or share with anyone because no one is left, and you just sob.

Of all the comrades that e'er I had
They're sorry for going away
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had
They'd wish me one more day to stay
But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise and softly call

"Good night and joy be to you all"
from The Parting Glass

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

El Pollo Loco BBQ Black Beans

I never heard of El Pollo Loco before. We don't have one on the east end of the island and I haven't seen one in Lake City so far.

Black beans are one of my favorites so I had to try this recipe from Top Secret Recipes- Unlocked  which I took out from the library.


2  15 ounce cans black bean with liquid
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken broth ( used beef broth)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons bacon fat ( from 2-3 pieces of cooked bacon which I also added )
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced canned green chilies
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Combine all the ingredients in a  medium saucepan and place over medium heat.

2. When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 60-75 minutes or until the beans are soft and mixture thickens.

Serve alone or over rice. 

Note: Gabe ate black beans and rice in Honduras many years ago. It's one meal that he has talked about and I never found a recipe that he said was close to the Honduras beans till now . He loved this dish!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

French Onion Zoodle Bake-

The weather was horrible when we got back to NY. Rain, cold and only in the upper 40's most days. I wanted something warm and this recipe sounded good.

I pinned it and when I went back to get the recipe and directions the site was down. When you have been cooking as long as I have this didn't phase me. I knew I didn't want mushy noodles so I didn't precook them. The onion- I figured the best way to cook was to caramelize them.  I knew what the other ingredients were but didn't know the amount so I just added what I thought would work. 


2 1/2 cups zucchini noodles

1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1/4 cup beef broth

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup mozzarella , grated


 Wash and dry the zucchini. The one I used was large so it was no problem getting 2 1/2 cups.

Spiralize the zucchini. If you don't have a spiralizer THIS link will explain how to turn your veggies into noodles without the machine.

Once you spiralize the zucchini place the noodles aside to use later.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium skillet add the olive oil and butter. Heat on medium  to high until the oil starts to simmer. Continue to 
caramelize the onion. If you need help on how to caramelize onions this site has lots of informative photos.

Once the onions are cooked add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.

Prepare a small baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the noodles and the onion mixture. Mix well.

Pour into the prepared dish and top with mozzarella.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

This is a fantastic recipe. It's low carb, gluten free .

I wanted to note that zucchini does contain water. There might be some in the dish after baking but it does not affect the taste . 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Chair Yoga

“Yoga is about clearing away whatever it is in us that prevents us from living in the most full and whole way.” – Cybele Tomlinson

from google images

If someone told me a year ago that I would actually enjoy going to a yoga class I would of looked at them like they had five heads.

Yoga had never been my thing. I was offered free private lessons when I was in my 30's. Yoga? Who had time to do that. I worked full time and had a son. Gabe worked 12 hour plus days. No way could I fit it into my crazy life.

In my 40's my friends thought I needed to get out of the gym and broaden my horizon in my fitness routine I had established. I loved the gym but the yoga classes were during the day, which did not work for me. 

I was invited to a class in the evening which I was sorry I attended. It was an horrible experience, one which I never wanted to repeat.

Enter the Life Enrichment Center which I started going to this year.

I  volunteer at the center and saw a yoga class on the schedule. It was at a great time and it's free! I figured why not take one class. 

Carol, our instructor has a calming personality which is exactly what I need in my life .

My first class had me checking the clock- when was it ever gonna end? The next class I still checked the clock but not as often. Now when Carol brings us into the last part which is meditation I wonder where the time went.

Am I good at it? No. Will I continue yoga- you bet I will, but it will have to wait till we get back to Florida. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Avocado Tuna Salad

I can't believe I've never thought of this before! It took the Avocado Cookies to turn on the green light bulb.

Tuna was at an unbelievable low price in Florida.  What could I make that's different and healthy?

Celery was in the fridge, shallot in the basket and one avocado ready to use. Perfect ingredients.

A whole wheat wrap and I had lunch.

This was my travel wrap when went back to NY. It's filling and no need for refrigeration. Max even liked it!


2 cans  light tuna in water- drained

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 ripe avocado

1 shallot- diced


Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. With with a fork mash the avocado and break up the chunks of tuna as you mash, until the ingredients are well combined.