Wednesday, November 18, 2020


I'm waiting for my yogurt treat.
Did you notice I was waiting for my yogurt treat?
Still waiting.
Did you notice I'm still waiting?
Heavy sigh.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Official Launch of New Book Tomorrow.

 The official release is tomorrow. Get your copy now for just .99 cents. My story "Lessons on Loss" is included which details my last days with my brother who died in his mid-fifties from aggressive cancer. "And we talked, late into the nights, sipping a finger of whiskey, the sound of the wind chimes he crafted as a hobby tinkling from outside. We did not talk of his days under the ocean as a Submariner or my days aloft as an airline pilot. He talked about how much he missed our Mom and how he hoped Dad would live to be 100. We shared our memories, especially those as we ran as children along the edge of the waters, along the rim of the earth as though we and we alone, were its inhabitants and guardians. We talked of those days along the shores of the water, the floors of the forest, the things we unearthed, rocks and sticks and shells, and even occasional bone and brass. Some of those things found their way home, others were left where they lay, left as future treasure."

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Brigid Update - Watch Out for the Flamingoes!

Sorry I've been offline for a while.  I developed a serious staph infection in my left foot (scratch that went rogue).  I'm on the mend but it's been a tough 8 months with two hospital stays and a couple months on antibiotics which ruined my gut to the point I'm still puking 2 times a day or having dry heaves.  Hang in there everyone.  (and please buy a copy of  my latest anthology
) so I have Chardonnay and chocolate through the winter.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Gluten Free Pasta My Husband Will Eat

I've been sick the last week with Cellulitus in my left ankle after a scratch got a bacterial infection.  So my husband has been cooking for me.  The doctor said to eat low fat while on the high doses of antibiotics.  Last night he made a vegan pasta dish with gluten free pasta.

What was the real surprise was the pasta was gluten free and he actually liked he. A lot.  He hates 90% of all gluten free stuff.  It had a great taste and texture and is really high in protein. I can't wait to try their plant based mac and cheese.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Gluten Free Review - Anna's Yeast Free Bread

Sorry it's been so long since I posted.  Major bathroom remodel going on at the house, 99 year old Dad to care for and work just sort of intervened.  

Today for my two readers :-)  A review of a gluten/yeast free bread mix Anna's.

I've tried other products from Anna and  really liked them (The banana bread is really good)  Some words of advice in making this.  Use a really big bowl.  The bread "mix" is extremely powdery and if you try and mix it in a small bowl a lot of it ends up in the air.   It's also extremely thick and sticky when mixed and placing it in the pan requires some effort and it won't really smooth down (the resultant bread looked very much like the product on the box.

Taste:  I should have added the suggested sweetener (which is optional according to their directions).  It tasted much like a general whole wheat beer bread but without a hint of sweetness, almost slightly bitter when eaten cold.  I had some made as toast for breakfast with some preserves and it was really nice, but eating it plain - I should have added the sweetener.

Texture - Actually very nice.  Sliced easily with a serrated knife, even when warm.

Ingrediants:  tapioca starch,  arrowroot, millet flour, chia flour, chickpea flour, pinto bean flour, navy bean flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum (certified soy and corn free).

Cost - $8 - $9.  Not cheap but it does make a nice two pound loaf.

Would I make again - I think I'd  definately try it again with a couple of Tablespoons of sugar added.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Thai One On

NOTE from L.B. - sorry it's been so long since I posted, my Dad put his house up for sale out in Washington State (we're in Chicago) to help with his assisted living costs which I was paying for and cleaning out 75 years of "stuff" was many weeks of work.  But it's sold and that gives my husband and I a breather financially for another year or two (he's 100).  So for today one of my favorite Thai dishes.  You can make this with tofu for a vegetarian version.  The sauce is YUMMY!

I love most southeast Asian dishes, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean.  But finding the ingredients can be a little daunting in some areas. This vegetable-heavy take on Pad Prik which normally uses a specialty curry paste and kaffir lime leaves (not easy to find in our small Polish owned grocers) turned out pretty good.  Good old Sriracha Thai Chili sauce is the secret.  (the most common brand seen in stores, made by Hoy Fung foods is made in the USA, including the bottles). Oh, and there's something called "fish sauce".

Don't turn up your nose at "fish sauce".  Outside of fresh-caught salmon (and I mean we caught it that morning and grilled it, stuffed with lemon and onion wrapped in bacon and drizzled with teriyaki) and occasional beer-battered Irish Pub fish and chips, I'm not a fish fan.  But I use fish sauce a lot in southeast Asian and Chinese dishes.  There's a reason it's a staple in Southeast Asian cultures. If you love Caesar salad, you've eaten one of the main ingredients in the dressing.  Anchovies.  For fish sauce, anchovies caught from clear waters and with salt, are fermented in wooden barrels and then VERY slowly pressed to product this savory liquid  Like Brut aftershave I'd not recommend putting your nose to the bottle for a big whiff, but just a small amount can add a deep richness and depth to a dish (with no "fishy" taste).

If you can, look for Red Boat Fish sauce on the internet, (just google it)  because most of the ones in the grocery are full of additives, wheat protein, chemicals, and MSG.  Red Boat Fish sauce is gluten-free and is really tasty.
For the marinade
2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS light oil peanut or vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon honey (or light brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground coriander  (you might try ginger if you can't find coriander)
1/2  tsp white pepper

For the stir fry sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons  fish sauce
1/4  cup plus 2 Tablespoons cup rice vinegar
1/4  plus 2 Tablespoons water
3 TBS  light brown sugar or honey
3 TBS  Sriracha
 For the stir-fry
1 and 1/2 pounds Seitan or veggie meat substitute
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoons of  peanut or vegetable oil
2 Thai, serrano, or red  jalapeƱo peppers, minced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
3 cups green beans
1/2 cup basil finely chopped only slightly.
1 lime- cut into quarters
1 Tablespoons chive chopped for rice garnish (photo op optional)
Mix the marinade ingredients together and mix with meat that you've cut into fairly small, thinner pieces in a gallon zip lock bag, and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Mince the garlic and mix it with 1 tsp of oil.  Set it aside.

Halve the peppers, scraping the seeds out for mild to medium thai hot.  Slice the red bell pepper into long, fairly thin strips.

Clean the green beans and place in a bowl with the finely diced chilis and your red pepper.
Heat up your skillet or wok in which you've drizzled a couple of teaspoons of vegetable or peanut oil.  Plan on cooking your meat in three batches after you've removed it from the marinade (which is discarded).  This ensures it stays nice and brown instead of getting pale and limp from overcrowding, which teams to end up steaming the meat, not stir-frying it.

When the oil is shimmering and a drop of water sizzles on it and evaporates, you're ready to cook your meat.   The meat will cook very quickly and don't be tempted to constantly maneuver it around with your spatula.  Put the pieces in there, and let cook two minutes to sear them on one side, then move them around the pan stir fry fashion until they're cooked through (about another minute)

Remove the meat to a bowl when cooked through and cook the remaining batches.

Do NOT be tempted to cook it all at once.  It takes just as long and your meat will not be nearly as good.

Add 2 tsp. more oil to the skillet and when shimmering, add the green beans and chilis/bell pepper  Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.  Clear out a little space in the center and add the garlic/oil mixture, pressing down for 10-15 seconds, then stir it in with the veggies and add the sauce.
Increase heat to high and cook for about a half a minute, until it thickens slightly (but not too long so you have some liquid left)  Add your meat, stir in the basil and remove the pan from the heat. 

Serve with rice if you are so inclined and a wedge of lime.  Note:  I boil my rice with a bit of coconut oil  (about 3% of the rice's weight) and then refrigerate for a day, then reheat.  This has been proven in studies to reduce the digestible carbs a fair amount.