Brussels Sprouts for Dinner

Long before we ran into Brussel Sprouts as an appetizer, SpecialK and I learned of our mutual like of Brussel Sprouts.

We bought some Brussel Sprouts and decided to make them the way the we both liked them, roasted.  At that time, I had a vegetable cookbook from the library, I decided to try a new recipe, and SpecialK begrudgingly gave me a few of the Brussel Sprouts to try.  I made the recipe, we ate as much as we could, the leftovers disappeared.  The last few roasted Brussel Sprouts got old and were tossed.

True story!

Thought it was time to share this recipe, the way I remember it, which means nothing is exact.

Thinly slice an onion, (this was an onion and a half, because I used old onions and 1/2 of the first one was bad) and peel off the outer leaves of the Brussel Sprouts.  Slice the Sprouts into three or four slices each.  Put oil in a fry pan and warm it up, add the onions and boil a pot of water.


I was being lazy, so I seasoned the onions with salt and pepper.  Usually, I wait a bit, but here you see I already seasoned.

Into the pot of boiling water, I add the Brussel Sprouts.  Boil the Sprouts for 3 minutes.  Set an alarm on your oven or phone, but this works so 3 minutes is it.

Brussel Sprouts, pardon the steam.


Once the Sprouts have been boiling for 3 minutes, drain them, and add them to the onions in the fry pan.  If you need more olive oil, add it.  If you are not cheating, season with salt and pepper now.


Mix them up, and cook until the onions and Brussel Sprouts are soft.

Now is the time, season the heck out of them with paprika.


Stir it all together, then add cheddar cheese. (I think this was a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, using what we had).


Mix it all together, and serve over rice, pasta, toast, quinoa, or just in a bowl, as we do.


Now doesn’t that look good enough to eat?

What’s your favorite way to eat Brussel Sprouts

Turkey Burgers

Sometimes, we like to change things up.  I have made Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers before, and I always liked them.  SpecialK told me recently that he thought they were too dry.  Silly me, I prepared them according to package directions.

One day last week, I forgot to defrost the chicken I thought I was going to make for dinner.  I realized I had Turkey Burgers in the freezer, and dinner was replanned.


Thinking of SpecialK’s comment, and realizing the only way we eat vegetables is if I make them, I started ‘creating’ again.

My rule for cooking is simple.  Cook what we like.

I started with a can of diced tomatoes, one flavored with Basil, Oregano and garlic.  I sliced up an onion and set that in the onion, and popped in 1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s Mushroom Medley.  Have I ever told you about SpecialK and these mushrooms?  They are the only ones allowed in our house!


After defrosting the mushrooms in the hot vegetables, I added the Turkey Burgers.  I tried to follow the package directions for length of time, but I fear I cheated the first side a few minutes.  I seasoned them with dried basil and parsley. After flipping them over, I topped the burgers with parmesan cheese.  I covered the pot so the cheese would melt.

SpecialK approved of this dish.


Here’s the truth of this dish.  You need a can of tomatoes, or some other liquid vegetable or broth.

To make this dish kosher, remember to defrost the chicken, and leave off the cheese.

To make this dish vegetarian, leave out the turkey burgers.

To make this dish your own, use the vegetables you like.  No to mushrooms?  Is there a ‘Yes’ for peppers or broccoli or carrots?


Decision made

I tried to eat what the nutritionist in CA wanted me to eat.  I tried eating “regular” foods, foods containing gluten.  I ate wheat bread, and wheat and oat cereals, that hurt going down.

I began feeling very sick one week, and I told SpecialK that I would be fine if I didn’t have to eat anything.  Late that day, I got very sick.  Twice sick in the following week, and I knew I had my answer.

I needed to return to eating gluten free, in order to be able to keep food in my belly, and to keep my weight above 100 pounds.  SpecialK had promised that if my weight read more like a temperature, he was going to take me to the hospital.

He told me at the end of those two weeks that I had felt better eating gluten free and lactose free, and in his “I never went to medical school, but even I can see what needs to happen” tone, took all of the wheat products to work.  Where no one else wanted them, and they got tossed in the trash.

I have returned to eating gluten free, and I have stopped getting sick.  While my CA nutritionist didn’t believe that I needed to eat gluten free, my FL nutritionist knew that wheat in my belly was not a good thing, and I have returned to her suggested way of eating.  Fewer carbs, all gluten free grains, and I would weigh more than 100 pounds.  Not so many more pounds, but that’s for another doctor to figure out.  Oh, and I will be starting with new doctors in our new area, so there remains hope.

Decisions can be good, and I feel good that I know how to go forward.


Green beans, my way

As a child, my sister and I use to trade vegetables.  She ate the cooked carrots, I ate the green beans.  Back then, green beans came from cans.  Corn came from cans, as did green peas.

After a while, my Mom would tell me, late in the afternoon, that we were having carrots with dinner, and I should peel one for myself.  She caught on to our vegetable eating, and I was happy to eat an uncooked carrot.  (The same is true for me with cauliflower),

Fast forward many years, and I learned I like fresh green beans.  I could have them in my salad or just snack on them.

Cooking the green beans created a new flavor combination for me, and now you can try it too.

Rinse the beans and cut the green bean ends off.  Once you have finished all, heat a tablespoon or two of light olive oil in a fry pan.  This will now go very quickly, be forewarned.

Add the green beans to the hot oil.  Toss a few times, making sure all the green beans have been treated to some of the oil.  Splash with a tablespoon or three of sesame oil, less if eating it alone, more if you would like some extra sauce for rice.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and grab a fork.



Memorial Day Weekend Shoping

This weekend, I got to meet a former coworker/ friend of SpecialK’s.  Since he offered to drive her up to meet her family in MA, we decided to go to the shopping outlets.

I warned him that this was not the right time to go shopping.  I had enough summer clothes, but will absolutely need some winter clothes.

He had his mind set, so off we went.  He shopped, I shopped.  We shopped until SpecialK was ready to drop.

What did you do on this long weekend?

My Birthday Cake Bomb

Every year for the past few years, SpecialK and I have had the same discussion.  Should I make my own birthday cake, or does he want to buy me one?

Last year, we decided at the last minute, and SpecialK went to the gluten free bakery we had visited before, Rising Hearts.  Cakes have to be preordered, which makes sense to me.  So he bought some cupcakes and all was good.

This year, with the chaos of moving and settling in, I need to eat sugar free.  I have made this cake before, and it does not fail. The frosting is made from whipped cream cheese, XyloSweet and vanilla.  No exact measurements, but there’s still hope I might get them someday.


SpecialK decided we should go out to eat for my birthday, and declared before leaving the restaurant that he felt stuffed.

We returned home, and after awhile I heard him rustling around for something. I asked him what he was looking for, and his answer was “birthday candles”.  I told him where I thought they were, and pulled the cake out of the refrigerator.  He stuck in 4 candles.  As soon as I understand the significance of 4 candles, I’ll share it with you.


Since he had proclaimed he was full, I cut him a small piece of cake, and cut myself a piece only slightly larger.  He decided he had some room to eat and cut himself a large slice of cake.

I put the cake away.  I opened the fridge door and noticed that less than half of the cake remained.  That makes me happy, knowing that he likes it so much. (I can always make another).


This cake bomb was very good, and I get to have more for breakfast in the morning.  This is one of my birthday rituals.  Leftover cake for breakfast, and whenever else I want some, until it’s gone.  This cake bomb will be gone soon.

Do you have any Birthday rituals?

For Peace and Harmony

While working at Sur La Table, I saw many interesting cooking tools, and some of them found their way into our home.

This egg piercer, which works similarly to a push pin, pokes a tiny hole into eggshells, keeping them from exploding in the water.

If you look carefully, you will see a pin like piece sticking out of the unit when depressed.

This was a piece that caught SpecialK’s eye, and was much safer in our kitchen drawer than a push pin would ever have  been.

There is another item kept peace and harmony in the home.  SpecialK liked his hard boiled eggs cooked for 8 minutes.  I found the yolks to be somewhat uncooked, and he determined that I preferred my eggs boiled for 12 minutes.

This was all fine and good, but we wanted to be able to make eggs that we both would eat.


Egg Perfect to the rescue.  Plop one in with the eggs and boil away.


As the water boils, the red indicator moves along.  Stopping the boil halfway between medium and hard boiled works well in this house.

Both of these items are available at Sur La Table and possibly other retailers.  I purchased both of these items of my own free will, and the was not compensated in any way for purchasing these items or sharing my opinion.

What’s in your kitchen drawer?



Gluten-Free, to be or not to be?

IMG_1437This is BIG.  This is two days before moving cross country big.  This is the result of meeting with a new nutritionist, who wanted to follow my CA gastroenterologist’ suggestion that I have fewer eating restrictions.

This nutritionist told me that she believes that only those with celiac or certified gluten intolerant should eat gluten free.  (Wait, didn’t my FL gastroenterologist tell me he believed I was gluten intolerant?). She also suggested that at the time I began eating gluten free, I had gut issues, that were most likely healed by now.  This is where she got me thinking.

I have to eat low carb, no matter what.  But would my life be easier as I get older, not being gluten free?

The nutritionist believes I have a fructan problem, so she started with me eating sourdough bread.  Then a sprouted wheat bread.  Pushing everything else aside for a moment, I do not like sprouted bread, and per our last conversation, I will not be eating more of it.

There are still more challenges to complete before we are absolutely certain.  I also am so well versed in whole grains, that she agrees that some of what I learned Gluten Free will be ok to continue.  So, maybe I will continue to eat regular bread, and eat whole grains otherwise?  They just won’t be wheat.

My favorite bread is pumpernickel.  What is your favorite type of bread?


Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

I visited with my aunt again last week, and made her shrimp scampi for dinner before departing the next morning.  It was so delicious that I made it this weekend for SpecialK.

I did not go to my aunts home expecting to make anything.  When she offered some shrimp she had, I offered her shrimp cocktail or shrimp scampi.  She wanted me to show her how to use the spiralizer I set her last year.  (I sent her this one.)

Imagine how excited I was to search for ‘healthy shrimp scampi’, and find Shrimp Scampi Zoodles.  While shopping for the vegetables we would need for SpecialK and I, I found these tomatoes.  They were the least expensive tomatoes, and I bought them.


I had already rinsed them off and cut them in half to make dinner.  If I could have these tomatoes everyday, it would be a long time before I would have had enough.

Now, on to the main course.  I found the recipe at

This is what my dish looked like.  It will be made again.  SpecialK, when offered rice or pasta with it, declared “There is already pasta in there”.  No pasta in there, just zucchini.  How far he has come!  Grab a fork, I made this, ate some, then remembered to take a picture.  These leftovers were another dinner, and lunch for SpecialK.


Big news coming soon.  Stay tuned.  What new dish have you made for dinner?

The Battle of the Boxes and Life Goes Forward

I went off to spend a few days with Aunt Judie as I shared with you in my last post.

I had lunches with Stacy and Valerie, and dinners with Aunt Judie and Phyllis.

I did several loads of laundry for Aunt Judie, making sure the pile was depleted before getting back in the car 8 days ago, and heading back to the extended stay hotel.  Why, hello Candlewood Suites!

I was approximately 5 minutes away from Aunt Judie’s house, when my phone rang. As I was driving a borrowed car, that would not sync my phone, I pulled off the road to answer.  SpecialK called to inform me the movers would be a day earlier than expected, and would arrive on Sunday.

I drove back to the hotel, and did our last load of free laundry.  Life became a whorlwind.  Saturday morning, I test drive a Ford Focus and then a Honda Civic.  We bought the Civic!  We then went to Costco, to load up on necessary things, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent.  Somehow $250 didn’t go nearly as far was we hoped!

After loading up on all those ‘necessaries’, we came to the rental center to collect our keys.  The rental center opens up at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday’s, the movers said they would be there at 11:00 a.m.

Sunday morning we packed our bags, all 9 of them, and arrived at our next home. (SpecialK had checked 3 bags, I checked 2, and we each carried 2 bags.  That equals our 9 bags).

At 12:20 p.m. On Sunday, the driver called to tell me they were an hour off schedule. They arrived at 1:30 p.m.

On Monday, SpecialK left for work, and ignoring one box of fragile things, I unpacked every box in our bedroom, putting away all of my clothes.  Then I attacked the boxes in the guest room.  By 11:30 a.m.  All of the boxes, except that fragile one were unpacked and flattened, Witt wrapping paper strewn about.

Monday evening SpecialK flew off for a business trip.  While he was gone, I was in an unpacking frenzy.  Every kitchen box was unwrapped, with the papers shoved inside the boxes.  When SpecialK came home from his business trip, he was greeted by a mountain of unpacked boxes.

On Wednesday, we went and received the Civic.  It is shiny and new.

I drove myself around Thursday in a car that was not rented or borrowed for the first time since I sold my Acura.

Fast forward to Saturday, today.  There was snow on the top of that Civic, but we were moving too fast to stop and take a picture.  We went out and ordered furniture, some to replace the furniture I had sold before leaving CA.

That was my past week.  That wall of boxes waiting to be unpacked?  They are waiting for another cabinet, ordered today, to be delivered.  I know better than to leave our delicate China on the floor for SpecialK and /or I to mistakenly trip over!

How was your past week?  Do anything exciting?