"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Star Trek Calaman Sherry Mocktail...Many Versions

Thanks to Nelix (Ethan Phillips with William J. Birnes) and their Star Trek Cookbook (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/star-trek-cookbook-ethan-phillips/1104309366), I have more choices in mocktails.

Calaman Sherry

Here’s a blush-colored drink that should look like pink champagne. Strawberry Kiwi is again your base drink of choice, lightened with Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider, which also provides effervescence, or straight club soda if you don’t want it too sweet. Serve in a tall, long-stemmed champagne glass so you can watch the bubbles rise.

Phillips, Ethan. Star Trek Cookbook (p. 223). Pocket Books/Star Trek. Kindle Edition.

Calaman Sherry Mocktail…Many Versions
(Adapted from: Star Trek Cookbook)

I made several adaptations to this mocktail. "You adapt," as the Star Trek Voyager crew would say. The ability to adapt is a good quality in Star Trek crew and fans, right?

I used a 4oz champagne glass.

There are more pink beverages available besides Strawberry-Kiwi than I realized, for example: pink grapefruit, cranberry, passion fruit, and more, so I choose a few.

Version 1


1 Commuter Mug with lid
1 Fancy glass
1 baggie
about 6 ices cubes
4 oz del Valle nectar mixto guayaba naranja
2 oz Club Soda


Put ice cubes in the baggie.
Pound them on the kitchen counter with something hard like a cutting board to make ice chips.
Add the chips to the commuter mug.
Add juice and club soda.
Add lid and close.
Shake a bit.
Strain/pour liquid from mug spout into fancy glass.

(Made with de Valle nectar mixto guayaba naranja https://jugosdelvalle.com.mx/portafolio/#del-valle/producto-519%20)

This mocktail smells mysterious and wonderful. It has lovely pink color and tastes great!


Version 2


1 Commuter Mug with lid
1 Fancy glass
1 baggie
about 6 ices cubes
5 oz Penafiel toronjada w/mineral water
1 oz carbonated apple juice


Put ice cubes in the baggie.
Pound them on the kitchen counter with something hard like a cutting board to make ice chips.
Add the chips to the commuter mug.
Add juices.
Add lid and close.
Shake a bit.
Strain/pour liquid from mug spout into fancy glass.

(Made with: Penafiel toronjada w/mineral water https://www.drpeppersnapplegroup.com/brands/penafiel)
This mocktail smells like pink grapefruit. It has a nice pinkish color. Tastes great!

Not GERD-Friendly

In addition, I got cranberry juice, too. I could make many different versions of Calaman Sherry!

Note: I think the lighting in my apartment is not strong enough to show the bubbles in my mocktails.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Quick Chicken Meatballs or Hairy Risian Bird Eggs

 March 9, 2019 is National Meatball Day!

This is an adaptation of an adaptation.

In the past, I made ground beef meatballs using guidance from the recipes below.

Now, I switched to ground chicken and made the recipe more #GERD-friendly.

Several of my recipes turn out looking alien. This is one.

Quick Chicken Meatballs or Hairy Risian Bird Eggs
(Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Meatballs/ and http://www.cookingnook.com/recipe/meatballs-recipe/)


Makes about 30 mini-meatballs.


1.5 - 2 Lbs ground chicken
1 egg
2 Tspns garlic powder
1 TBspn onion powder
1 TBspn dry parsley, crushed
1/2 Cup parmesan cheese
1 Tspn dry oregano
5 dashes hot pepper sauce (Optional)
1 TBspn imitation bacon bits
18 saltine crackers, crushed
Ground black pepper to taste
Milk, if need to moisten


I realize that there is a difference between 1.5 - 2 Lbs of ground chicken. So, adjust use of spices accordingly as you wish.

Add ground chicken to a large bowl.
Add egg and spices.
Stir, mix and mash ingredients together thoroughly.

Roll approximately a tablespoon or more in palms to create a ball.
Use a microwave casserole dish with a cover. Line the bottom of a microwave container with meatballs.
Add lid.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Remove balls, place on plate to cool.

Create next batch and microwave to cook.
Continue making balls and cooking until mixture has been used.

While they came out tasty, I did not crush the crackers sufficiently.

So, they look a bit odd and would probably fit right into the Star Trek Cookbook as a recipe, maybe called “Hairy Risian Bird Eggs." (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/star-trek-cookbook-ethan-phillips/1104309366)


Thursday, March 7, 2019

DIY Thousand Islands Dressing

There are a lot of recipe/cooking websites out there.

But, one website always comes to my rescue, Simply Recipes, https://www.simplyrecipes.com/

This time, when I ran out of Thousand Islands Dressing, I wondered if I could make it myself. With the help of Simply Recipes, I did.

DIY Thousand Islands Dressing
(Adapted from: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/thousand_island_dressing/)


1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 TBspn onion powder
2 TBspns Ketchup
2 TBspns Pickle Relish
1 Capful of lime juice concentrate
1 Tspn Paprika
s/p to taste


Now, as I began, I realized I had a bit more than a cupful of mayonnaise left in the jar, so I just used the jar and its contents and mixed in the rest of the ingredients. Also, I did not add any ground black pepper or salt. I feel many processed foods already have salt in them.

Then, I stirred the mixture well.

It was tasty.

Thousand Islands dressing reminds me of my mom. One of her favorite meals was a Rueben Sandwich. I modified the idea of a Reuben and make a Turkey Rueben Toast Topping. I add shredded cheese on top of the toast, top it with a slice of Turkey lunch meat, then add a scoop of sauerkraut and add a spoonful of my DIY Thousand Islands dressing!!!

It's the little things that make me happy. It makes me proud, I can make Thousand Islands Dressing!!! and I can barely boil water.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Condiments: Chipolte Sauce and more

Two condiments I have tried recently:

Mayonesea con Chile Chipolte


Soy oil, egg yolk, vinegar, agua, sugar, salt, mustard, lime juice concentrate and spices (chile chipolte en adobo: agua, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, onions, chile, sugar, soy oil, and spices)

Cocktail Sauce or Mexican Bitters


Aqua, hydrodized soy and vegetable oil, vinegar, manzana, citric acid, piloncillo, azcar, sal yodada, pure de tamarindo, artificial flavors, maltodextrina, carmel coloring clase IV, benzoato de sodio, condimentos y glutamato monosodico, contiente soya, sulfitos, y gluten de trigo (or basically - water, oil, vinegar, apple juice, citric acid, sugar, salt, tamarindo juice)

I use Mayonesea con Chile Chipolte often, in small doses. It has a kick.

I tried the Maggi Cocktail Sauce in a few Mocktails, it's ok but I might be better off making my own "Bitters."

Spontaneous Writing - Raspberries

As a member of several writers groups, I enjoy spontaneous writing sessions.

Basically, someone suggests a word, image or uses a picture and asks the group to write for 5-10 minutes about the suggested word or image.

I am always surprised by what I write and then I am surprised at the various perspectives from other writers.

Since, I come from a journalistic background, I tend to be straightforward in my writing, but I find in spontaneous writing sessions, I am a bit more creative.

Here is a sample from a recent Scribes of Our Times' spontaneous writing session. The image was raspberries.


It's the bumps that fascinate me and the amazement that a fruit can be so red.

It is so soft, it melts in your mouth.

The taste migrates from sour into sweetness to end with a tang.

Raspberries are rare to me. While I know they are plentiful to others, it is like a jewel that I want to keep.

Raspberries are mysterious. Blackberries are familiar. Blueberries are little treats.

But, raspberries come from a foreign place, even if it's just next door.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Partial List of Residencias Adultos Mayores (Senior Care Residences), Merida, Yucatan

The following is a partial list of residential facilities for seniors.
Adultos Mayores Residencias
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Information presented is based on visits in 2016 arranged by Adventures-Mexico (https://www.adventures-mexico.com/) to the following facilities. List is not inclusive. There are other private and governmental adultos mayores facilities and services in the Yucatan.

2016 costs range from $11,000 to 20,000MXN a month. Some facilities require a deposit. These costs are a guide and do not represent current costs.

Resident is responsible for several costs including wifi and cable, medical services and medicines, and other services.

Some require additional electricity fees during summer months.

List does not cover all information regarding facilities.

Most of the facilities have waiting lists.

Descriptions of what facilities may provide or not provide are only a guide. Changes in what facilities provide or do not provide may have changed.

1. Josefina Montes Molina
Hogar para Mujeres
C21 x 20 y 22
Mexico Oriente

Multi-story building includes an elevator.
Garden areas.
Community rooms.

Private room

Fitness room
Game room
Reception desk with mail service
First Aid

Does not include:
Laundry services, laundry machines in building
Wifi or Cable
Rooms are not furnished
Medical services or medicines

2. Golden Age Services

La Edad Dorado
C 30 #255 x 75 y 73
Colonia Montes de Ame
Merida, Yucatan 97115

Lots of open and garden spaces.

Dr. Luis Martinez
999 199 1138
999 287 4073

Accommodations, dormitory rooms, private with shared bathroom
3 meals, collations
Game room
24 hour nursing assistant
Surveillance and medicine control
Physiotherapy/Occupational therapy
Low cost laboratory services

Does not Include:
Medical services and medicines

3. Mis Queridos Viejos
C 38 #125 x 29 y 31
Colonia Buenavista, Merida, Yucatan
Harold Esquiviel

999 927 9381

Private home

shared accommodations
3 meals
Room cleaning
Surveillance and medicine control
Doctor visit

Does not Include:
Special meal requirements
Medical services and medicines
No activities

4. Residencia Para Mayores “Casa Aurea, A.C.”
C 18 x 31 y 16
Colonia Mexico
Irma Martinez Gonzales
999 926 1183
999 366 8234
999 253 7966

Accommodations, shared or private (Furnished or Unfurnished)
3 meals and 2 collations
Fan or Air conditioning
Private Bath
Bell for assistance
Nursing assistance
Linen changes 2x a week

Does not Include:
Laundry services
Medical services and medicines

5. Refugio Mendoza
C 12 #249 x45
Colonia Leandro Valle, 97143
(Near Macroplaza)

999 212 0626

Accommodations, single or shared
3 meals, 2 collations
Nursing assistance
CCTV cameras
Bell for assistance
1 doctor visit a month

Does not Include:
Medical services, medicines, doctor visits
Limited Fan and A/C use

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Basic Black Bean Burgers/Sliders

I want to make a good bean burger. I am not there yet.

This is my third attempt.

The following websites are some of the sites I consulted.

Jack Monroe - Tin Can Cook

BBC Good Food

The Guardian

My burgers were a little too soft for my taste, so I am still seeking to perfect my recipe.

I found the variety of bean burger recipes confusing. Since I admired Amy Dacyczyn's "Universal Casserole" recipe from her book, The Tightwad Gazette, I made a diagram to try to simplify the steps and choice of ingredients needed to make bean burgers.

Also, I am using my theory of "Use What You have."

In this recipe, I used Black Beans that had already been mashed.

Basic Black Bean Burgers/Sliders
(Adapted from: https://www.budgetbytes.com/black-bean-burgers/


Updated: 3/18/19