Cook book caper.

Cook book caper.

I just put together a cookbook on the shutterfly site. There was a super special offer of free pages in photon oops (that’s photo books, autocorrect) along with 40 percent off and free shipping.

Granted, it was a rush job and likely has some mistakes, but it’s a cookbook. It’s a start. A place to improve from. And I am rather exited about it. Or perhaps I’m excited about it, before I leave and go to bed.

I can see the possibilities. And it will be very interesting (and likely amusing) to see what I overlooked in the editing process.

The deadline prevented a polished product. But the deadline gave me the opportunity to actually do it. Go figure. Or at least that will happen if I eat my words.

This book is a collection of my recipes, healthy and otherwise. There are lots of no sugar added, gluten free and dairy free options. But my rhubarb custard pie recipe is also in it. Why? Because even though I don’t eat sugar because of my addiction, I know that not everyone has to be like that. I enjoy baking and if someone enjoys eating it without the trouble I have, I like to make and serve it.

I’ve learned that the memory of the taste is enough. I can enjoy the creative process without the eative process. And it smells really good.




Chicken Dinner Jerky.

Chicken Dinner Jerky.

I’m trying my hand at a cookbook.

It occurred to me that I could share a recipe here and find out if there’s interest in more (e’en cooking).

This recipe came about when I wanted to have a new emergency food supply stash option (no sugar added, no refrigeration needed, loaded with protein, easy to pack in a purse or a pocket).  I found the general idea in The Dehydrator Bible and changed it up to suit me. This has the taste of a chicken dinner complete with stuffing.

In food processor, puree 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (all fat trimmed) with 1/2 c. onion, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, 1 clove peeled garlic, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup seedless grapes, 1 cup diced dried apples. Put mixture in gallon sized ziplock freezer bag. Snip one corner (about 1/2 inch) and extrude meat mix in lines onto parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten lines to 1/4 inch. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Press each strip with paper towels to squeeze out fat. Return meat strips to cooling rack lined baking sheet and bake at 170F for 2 hours or until dry. Let cool. Store in airtight container. I think this would be good with 1/2 half cup dried cranberries instead of the grapes. (I didn’t have any that weren’t sweetened with sugar.)

Snip corner of ziplock bag and extrude meat mixture to pan.
Ready for the second baking.
Chicken jerky. I think it looks like drumsticks.

What do you think?

Colorado. Much ado.

Colorado. Much ado.

I’m visiting my daughter and son in law right now. They live on a ranch in Laramie, WY. It’s a great place to unplug and get recharged. They have extremely limited cell service and no wifi.

Today, however, we went to Ft. Collins, CO, via Walden and the rocky mountains. There was no cell service in the mountains, but my camera worked.

We’re on our way back to Laramie via Cheyenne, now. There’s enough service for me to type this aa a bit of therapy for my sugar addiction management.

When I was writing “Ready for Takeoff” yesterday, I was thinking about my tendency to lose weight when I’m on vacation. I had found some pounds during the summer while I was at home. Too many options, perhaps. Or not enough focus. Whatever it was, I’m ready for take off now.

Today I had a great breakfast that included a serving of Cream of the West and coconut oil.

I was on a Rocky Mountain high for a few hours as we took the long route to our destination.  Lunch was Mexican food.

Mid afternoon, we stopped at an ice cream and coffee shop. I ended up holding a coffee toffee cone for a minute or two, but had no interest in a taste. I enjoyed a decaf coffee. And that was that.

I’m still a bit amazed by my paradigm shift regarding sugar. But I realized today that it’s real. And on vacation, I’m settled about no eating between meals. That’s what works for me. I’m not willing to jeapordize feeling good for fueling poorly.

I’ll let this be all for now. We’re almost back to Wyoming. Oh wait! Another thought about taking off. When we got to the rental car lot yesterday, we found out we had been upgraded to a Jeep Wrangler. Today, we were taking off the top!




Fine. And other Conundrums.

Fine. And other Conundrums.

I had to pay a fine this week. It was for a book that I didn’t return to the library on time. I find it rather funny that it was The I Hate To Cook Book. I don’t hate to cook. And the recipe I wanted from the book was Overnight Macaroons. I don’t eat macaroons. They are loaded with sugar.

I saw the book when I was looking for a book that might have jerky recipes and impulsively checked it out. (By the way, I also checked out the Dehydrator’s Bible and found a recipe I could adapt to make a copy of Epic brand Chicken Jerky.) I reminisced through the Elevator Lady Spice Cookies recipe and decided to try out the overnight macaroons since I wasn’t trying to make cookies in a huge hurry. (The spice cookies are super fast–35 minutes from start to clean up for 3 dozen cookies.)

The reason I had to pay a fine for this book that I remember from my childhood is because it’s a new edition and it’s in the new section of books. Therefore, it is a 14 day loan instead of 28 days. I’m chalking my mistake up to the new receipt system that has replaced a date stamp in each borrowed item. It’s new technology. And it’s fine.

A word like fine is a conundrum of sorts. When someone asks me how I am, I often say, “Fine.” But I’m not talking about a penalty. I mean, well, good. But when someone breaks a rule, they often have to pay a fine. Does that make something bad good?  Maybe that’s the right end of it.

If I don’t manage my sugar addiction, I pay a fine. I don’t feel fine, I feel lousy. Although sometimes, at first, I feel fine as in good. Or maybe it’s high. How are you? Fine. And then there’s a crash. Or there’s an urge to look for more food instead of being content with Maureen in control.

And then there’s looking fine. Feeling fine. Feeling groovy. I’d like to break my record of slipping into grazing from time to time. I’d just like to feel fine. (Reading back over this paragraph, I feel like it could be the lyrics to a pop song. I don’t usually understand them, either.)

Perhaps I’m not making sense. But that’s fine. I’m writing. I’m not eating. I’m thinking it’s sense that determines what fine applies to a situation.

I have two painting projects this week. Some of the time I’ll be rolling with a roller. And other times I’ll be making a fine line between white and wrong. Well, not wrong, but the  paint color I’ve chosen for the walls. But first, I’m going to take the time to prime. Right now, it’s prime time. I’ve got to beat it.

What’s a conundrum to you? (PS. The picture is the chicken jerky I made. It looks a little like drumsticks to me.)