B-day Week


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Had the nicest week here, weather-wise! Actually chilly. This is my birthday week so it was a real treat. On Friday, my birthday, I received the nicest present…rain. Lovely slow-falling, rain. It was so nice and grey all day, perfect weather for sleeping in. When you get beaming sun morn to night, you really learn to appreciate “May Gray”. So I gave myself the gift of sleeping as long as I wanted. Delicious!

My childhood friend, S, called to wish me happy B-day around 5 pm. And since I have a million rollover minutes, we talked for a good hour. My brother, Rusty, sent an email. He can be such a disappointment sometimes. But, whatever.

My dinner was a frozen Lean Cuisine Fettuccini Prima Vera. So, so. Kind of watery, fyi. Should have gone with the bag of salad I had in the fridge, but oh well. Had the salad today with grape tomatoes and Marie’s Chunky Blue Cheese dressing…mmm.

Found a strange link when looking for an image to put into this post. You can write your name or a friend’s on an assortment of Birthday cakes and send it to them. Not the cake, just the image, like this:

Or this:

This is a good thing since the odds of me baking a cake are zero. Lol!

To anyone else who had a birthday this last week, Happy Birthday to you!

Smoked Salmon Accompaniment


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This is what I serve with smoked salmon looks like. Usually I also have a dish of capers on the side.

Use whatever measurements you like.
1/2 mayo (the real stuff like Hellmans’s/Best Foods)
(Hellman’s is East coast and BF is West, who knows why?)
1/2 sour cream (I like Knudson’s)
About 3- 5 T. (+ or -) chopped fresh dill
About 1/4 – 1/3 c. (+ or -) finely minced red onion
1-5 T. capers (rinsed and drained of course) Amount depends on how many people you’re serving.

Mix everything except the capers together. You can alter proportions to taste as you like. Haven’t tried it with yogurt since I just love it this way.

Let sit in a covered container in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to meld. Serve with the salmon and capers on the side, so people can help themselves.

This is a versatile all around dip but is really good with smoked salmon. You could probably sub shallots for the red onion. It’s just I really like the taste of red onion and how it balances out the richness of the smoked salmon. It’s a very flexible recipe that the person who first introduced me to home smoking ages ago gave to me. Gosh, it must be over 20 years ago!

Entering Trout Season


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Lake Superior Trout

Lake Superior Trout

Why is it that thinking and talking about food can often make you feel better mentally? It’s the strangest thing. Believe it or not, this post stems from putting my grocery delivery order together on Sunday.

As you may or may not know, I use Von’s Delivery vs. going grocery shopping myself. My knees are just so bad that it’s a much better option for me. The food is delivered to my back door, brought in and placed on the counter for me. So very much better! The nice thing is that if you order $150 the delivery fee is only $3.95. Since I order two to three weeks worthat a time that’s easy to reach. Not bad heh? Someone does the shopping and lugging for me, plus every week they offer a free item. One week it was Magnum ice cream bars. Yum! Another week it was a big container of one of their deli soups. Other times boxes of cereal and so on!

Anyhow, I was on the Von’s website and decided to look at what was available in fish. Well, the first thing listed under fish was Chilean Sea Bass fillet at…are you ready?$32.99/pound! A pound! I called Customer Service and asked if it was a mistake. They couldn’t tell and so called the store that serves my area.

Sure enough it was correct! Can you believe it? Two funny things…I had called about a week ago and was told that often when a product isn’t ordered it’s because it doesn’t “move” (aka:  sell fast enough) and then has to be tossed. [But I order it…. :(]

Obviously the store’s fish monger must have wanted a special meal. He could be pretty sure no one would be buying the bass anytime soon. Second funny thing was that the customer service rep had no reference as far as the cost because she doesn’t like fish and doesn’t eat it. Can you imagine not eating fish? I’d die without salmon, trout, tuna, anchovies and so on! I don’t get it that often but not to ever eat it? Can’t even envision that at all.

In fact, on my next Trader Joe’s order, I’m going to get about 10 to 12 little tins of their delicious Smoked Trout.TJ's Smkd Trout

It’s so good and it reminds me of summer days as a kid vacationing up in Door County, Wisconsin where there are all kinds of varieties of smoked fish available and they all taste so good!

Just like in Door County

Just like in Door County…yum!

I often will use a tin of smoked trout from Trader Joe’s (they’re small by the way – see image below) to make a dinner of lettuces, tomatoes, potatoes and whatever other fresh veggies are around. Maybe even a hard-boiled egg. If I have any special olives on hand, those are included. Actually even something as pedestrian as pimento stuffed greenies. Of course I do toss those in a small pot of water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or so, to remove some of the salt. Then drain, rinse, drain and cool.

I’ve even been known to use the oil I drain from the trout tin to make an nice, easy vinaigrette. Sometimes I’ll throw everything together like a big ole’ tossed salad.And other times separate it kind of like a Salad Nicoise as in the image below (though not a real salad Nicoise).

This is often the perfect dinner in the dregs of summer when I refuse to turn the oven on and even the idea of throwing something on the stovetop is completely undesirable. Plus I get some Omega-3’s this way.

From Stacey's blog

From Stacey’s blog

In researching smoked fish for this post, I came upon a number of interesting sites. First is Stacey’s post on her take of April Bloomfield’s recipe in “A Girl and Her Pig”. She has a good recipe modeled after April’s but using TJ’s Smoked Trout.

I called several well known delis in LA. “Fish? No, we don’t carry any fish.” In the Midwest no self-respecting deli would ever say that! You could always get some form of un-canned smoked fish, especially in spring, trout season. Heck, one of the first things I bought (after a gas grill) when I moved out at the start of the divorce was a smoker. Love smoked salmon. Used to get a slab of salmon (skinned both sides – important) from Costco and smoke it. Ooohhh, to die for. And I had the best “dip” to accompany it. Sadly my insane knees now limit me and I haven’t smoked anything in several years.  :(

Smkd trout3Another site yielded a number of ways to get your hands on some smoked fish if you don’t live on the East Coast or near a Great Lake. (Apparently being 30 minutes from the Pacific ocean doesn’t count for anything so I was happy to get this list.) Even if I only ordered once every two years from one of them it’d be worth it:

Smoked Fish: How to Get It

If properly packaged and handled, smoked fish will last 5 to 7 days, depending on the fish.

Abe’s & Son, Philadelphia, PA, 215-742-3800 ($50 minimum)

Barney Greengrass, New York, NY, 212-724-4707

Browne Trading Company, Portland, ME, 800-944-7848; www.brownetrading.com 

Murray’s Sturgeon, New York, NY, 212-724-2650

Russ & Daughters, New York, NY, 800-787-7229

Zabar’s, New York, NY 212-496-1234 (inside New York), 800-697-6301(outside New York), www.zabars.com

Why is everything on the East coast? We have fish here! Heck, we’ve got a whole ocean sitting next to us!

P.S. Just FYI: not affiliated with anyone in any way.

P.P.S. Recipe for “dip” for salmon coming next.


Bad Blogger


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Photo Source. Can't recall. Sorry.

Photo Source. Can’t recall. Sorry.

Well, I must apologize for my lengthly sabbatical absence from this blog. Sorry. See that puppers up there?  Kind of how I feel.

Going through some angst about aging. Suddenly my skin looks like an old woman’s when I look at my arms. Plus I’m waiting for the landlord for this property to jack up the rent another 10%. Cringe. LA is just becoming obscene to live in.

Oh, and add to that we’ve had a very early and brief spring sadly, with little in the way of rain.  :(  Today it hit 94F (34.5C) and will repeat the same tomorrow.😦 Yeah, I’ve just been kind of bummed lately. Again, sorry. I’ll try to be better. If you’ve checked in periodically, thank you! From the very bottom of my heart!

The Profound Impact of Words


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You don’t even need that many of them. I found the following while surfing the net. The power of these words is astounding don’t you think? I’ve written about this before. Remember this?

Be sure to view this. It was penned by a man who lost his wife in the Bataclan club attack:

Words have such power when used with thought that it still amazes me.

Happy Gobbler Day!


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Well, Thanksgiving came and went. My brother on the East coast emailed me. What is it with people and not calling to say hello? It’s so much more enjoyable and rewarding to hear a loved one’s voice.

My little 2.75# turkey breast in the crockpot did not turn out so well. I think I’m crockpot challenged. I do much better with a plain old heavy duty Dutch Oven. So, so much better!!!

It’s probably because that was the pot my mom and aunt always used so I must have absorbed the “how to” from them. Never was around anyone who used a crockpot so am not quite so gifted.

I’m thinking of tossing it out, I mean, really, why keep it? Plus when I read crockpot recipe, it almost automatically is converted to Dutch Oven measurements in my brain…no idea why. Actually I just may keep the cooker to use in the summer to avoid heating the house up. Of course, who knows if my luck will be any better? On a happier note I found an image of a tree in its full fall regalia and looking gorgeous!

Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

We’ve had the loveliest streak of fall weather and it’s been heavenly! Trees are actually changing color (well, the ones that are deciduous). Hope your holiday was happy!

Are you ready for the next one that’s upon us in 23 days. I really wish the fall holidays were spaced out a bit more so we could all enjoy them to the fullest!



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Isn’t it odd how when things, events, and so on are out of sight (so to speak) we still get odd mental “jogs” about their presence? Such is the case with my beloved little Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Blue.

Such a sweetheart.

Blue…such a sweetheart.

Of late, more than normal, he’d been on my mind and to me, for no particular reason I thought, other than I loved and still missed the little honeybun.

Turns out, November 18,2015 was the two year anniversary of having to put him to sleep because of the crippling disease degenerative myelopathy or DM. Found this out on my computer calendar. I hadn’t realized how little time had passed since he left. He was just…gone.

DM is like ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. If you want an idea of what DM or ALS is like, you can find an amazing portrayal by Hillary Swank in the movie “You’re Not You” (currently streaming on Netflix). It broke my heart to watch it because I watched Blue go through it.

It’s an excellent movie, I hope you enjoy it and learn about these two horrid diseases.

xo Christine

The Digital Life


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In some ways I’m glad I grew up when I did (no helicopter parents and so on). I’m also glad I “have” all my kitchen “things” like the little ring with the measuring spoons on it. Plus with a limited budget I’m not tempted by things like this:

Photo Source.

Photo Source. Go here if you want to get one BTW (no affiliation).

What’s annoying about gadgets like this is first their cost. This item is $55.00 plus shipping. Second, is that it will need batteries and probably not your basic AA’s or AAA’s. It brings to mind my digital cooking thermometer that’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for over two years to remind me it needs batts. And I have no idea how to open it in order to see what kind of battery is needed.

I took it to Bed, Bath and B (where I purchased it) and they were mystified. Couldn’t even figure out how to open it. Called the company that manufactured it and they were of no help either. Glad I still have my old “analog” one with the dial. It may not be instant but it’s accurate and needs no batts.

The gadget up above is described this way “Simplify life and replace the large and painstaking rings of teaspoons and tablespoons occupying much needed space in your baking cabinet”. I didn’t realize my ring of measuring spoons was large and painful, did you? They nest very nicely and take up the space of a small spoon.

On a totally different note, I just have to say here and now that I don’t think “the donald” should get Secret Service protection paid for by us! You must watch the video in the attached link. Watch it to the very end which will give you an idea of how often this doesn’t happen.

Like Trump doesn’t have enough money. This alone would be reason enough for me to never ever vote for the fool! OMG, where does the lunacy stop and when will we the people totally run out of money to fund government crap. Sorry, but this just has smoke coming out my ears.

Now for a happier note. *****Corgi falls in H2ORan across this photo on The Daily Corgi and thought it was hysterical (though I hope the little honey wasn’t hurt when going over and into the water). Corgi’s are just so cute!!!!!!

A Brief Respite and a Bit of Rain


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Here I had just been thinking that we may have escaped the late super heat of summer that we often get at the end of September, going into October. But no. Food in the fridge was spoiling even quicker than normal! Well, that was about eight days ago. Since then it’s cooled into the low 90’s and high 80’s.

By Friday we’ll be back in the mid 80’s. We did however have a lovely 20 minutes of rain before the sun came up one morning. And now, at about 3:15 p.m. we had another spurt of showers for about ten minutes. Just long enough to interrupt the kids’ soccer game across the street.

It’s funny how we take rain for granted, even resenting it for interrupting our activities. Yet when it’s been gone a while, how much the smallest of sprinkles are marveled at.


Luckily, the landlord got the gutters cleaned out and covered with a mesh to keep out the leaves and other debris from the two beautiful but very, very messy trees.

This seems to be turning into a diary-post and is going on day two. Serious sun this morning and then as the afternoon wore on, it clouded over (so lovely) and we had another spurt of light rain. It smells so good!

What is it with the mass mind-meld? Five of the 20 or so food blogs I read had recipes with peanuts. Satays, noodle dishes and so on. Sorry but I hate those things. I blame it on the person I used to be married to…the cook. Sadly he did not always excel at interpreting some foreign dishes. His satays and noodle recipes came out very dry and overly spicy. As a result, he drowned them in an assortment of peanut sauces which didn’t help anything.

Sadly, he was not open to any suggestions or the remotest of criticisms even from friends that he foisted these meals upon. It got so that if they sensed any peanut-y entrees coming their way, they made hasty excuses to bug out, leaving me holding the peanut bag so to speak. Thus my strong dislike since I was expected to eat inhale his “cuisine” and “love” it.

So, yeah, it’s bad enough that pumpkin season is upon us but apparently peanut driven recipes have gripped the collective conscious. No offense to the pumpkin and peanut lovers out there. Enjoy. Just know I’ll be waiting for a different recipe.

Just a side note, I do like several pumpkin things but they are all sweets:  like my pumpkin pie and Libby’s pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling (OMG). I could easily consume an entire one all by myself! (Consider yourself warned….)

Well, it looks like we got another drizzling of rain just in time for dinner. How nice, the air just really smells so good!


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