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

Friday, January 18, 2019

GERD - Gastroesophageal reflux disease

As a mature female, I may occasionally post articles on aging and health.

The list below is incomplete but is meant to highlight foods that aggravate GERD and those that are relatively safe to eat.

I, now, adapt some recipes to make them GERD-Friendly.

Recommended foods to avoid or those that are safe to eat.


Caffeinated Tea
Carbonated Water



Citrus Juices like OJ
Grapefruit juice
Pineapple juice









Hot peppers

Spicy foods




Lactose-free Milk


--Grilled, boiled, baked, poached




Not on list






Other Resources:


  Watch for updates.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Jack Monroe's Creamy Salmon Pasta

This has been an interesting recipe to make. I learned to make a fish paste and fish “dumplings.” Sounds simple but it involved a lot of web searches and research.

I used Jackie M’s recipe as a guide to make the fish paste, later I tried tips from RedCook to make fish balls.

The fish paste worked well with Jack Monroe's Creamy Salmon Pasta.

Fish Paste
(Adapted from: https://jackiem.com.au/2015/05/19/how-to-make-fish-paste/)


a can of salmon, drained
3+ TBspns of flour
and a bit of water


Basically, in a bowl, add enough flour and water to the salmon and mix the ingredients thoroughly by hand until it is a smooth thick paste. Store the fish paste in the frig until ready to make Jack Monroe’s recipe.

I am math challenged and even with metric converter apps, my eyes roll when I try to convert grams and milliliters into ounces etc.

Unfortunately for this recipe, the conversions only confused me.

So, I went with my instincts.

Also, I forgot to use a smaller form of pasta like penne, I used spaghetti, vegetable flavored spaghetti. Pasta in smaller forms are easier to coat with sauce and extra ingredients don’t get lost in the pasta.

Jack Monroe’s Creamy Salmon Pasta
(Adapted from: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/07/24/cheap-salmon-pasta-recipe/)



1 8oz package spaghetti
Olive oil
1 8oz can of mushrooms, drained
2 dashes onion powder
2 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 palmful of parsley
1 capful of lime juice concentrate
3/4 of 242g or 8.5 oz bottle of plain yogurt
1 heaping TBspn of salmon fish paste
S/P to taste


Add spaghetti to a pot of boiling water. Add a dab of olive oil.
Cook spaghetti for about 8 minutes, check doneness. Spaghetti should be easy to chew. Cook a little longer, if not done.

In skillet, add mushrooms, onion powder, hot pepper sauce, parsley, lime juice concentrate and S/P.
Stir thoroughly. Heat on low simmer until spaghetti was done.

After spaghetti is done, turn off burner but keep spaghetti in the pot.
Add plain yogurt and salmon paste to mushroom mixture. Stir mixture thoroughly, turn up heat to a full simmer.

Drain spaghetti and add to mushroom mixture.
Stir and toss thoroughly to mix sauce with spaghetti and warm up all the ingredients.
Taste the mixture. Add more fish paste and/or plain yogurt if needed.


Using Red Cook’s tips (https://redcook.net/2009/02/01/making-fish-paste/) as a guide, I made some fish balls mixed with bacon bits, onion and garlic powder and placed  them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Hmmm, while the flavor was good, they were a bit gooey, I had hoped that there would be various ways to cook fish balls but these are like dumplings.

I also tried frying them but if I had had smoke detectors, they would have sounded off an alarm. They are dumplings period.


Friday, January 4, 2019

Recetas de una Mujer Maya Moderna

Recetas de una Mujer Maya Moderna:
Easy Modern Mayan Recipes
by Sokky Yah


Now available from Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/915152.

With over 35 simple recipes made in the tradition of the Mayan in the Seye Pueblo in Yucatán, México. Also, included are a few short stories by the author about her life in the pueblo.

Included are recipes for pork chops, chicken, spaghetti, desserts, soups, eggs, sandwiches, potatoes, and salads. Find recipes for Cotzitos, Gorditas, tortas featuring chaya, corn, and vegetables. Also, included are two recipes by the author's friend, Alan van Bogegraven.

Más de 35 recetas sencillas hechas en la tradición de los mayas en Seye Pueblo en Yucatán, México. Además, se incluyen algunos cuentos del autor sobre su vida en el pueblo.

Se incluyen recetas para chuletas de cerdo, pollo, espaguetis, postres, sopas, huevos, sándwiches, papas y ensaladas. Encuentre recetas para Cotzitos, Gorditas, tortas con chaya, maíz y vegetales. Además, se incluyen dos recetas del amigo del autor, Alan van Bogegraven.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year!!!!!

Updated 1/2/19

Two friends came over to celebrate the New Year.

I had warned them I already planned to make a black-eyed pea dish, and a pasta recipe from my new Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Philips and William J. Birnes.

Plus, I was going to attempt to make some of the “mocktails” from ecookbook. The ecookbook was a Christmas present and it has been a blast to read. Now, I was going to try some of the recipes.

The ecookbook has over 300 pages and is full of stories about all the Star Trek shows. Various characters offer their favorite recipes. Ethan Philips played Nelix on the Star Trek show Voyager and he offers many of the recipes Nelix “prepared” during the show.

While Philips and Birnes playfully make these recipes seem "Alien", they are regular recipes.

Many recipes are simple like Tim Russ’s (Tuvok) Special Scrambled Eggs or too complex for me, like Icoberry Torte.

Many recipes make tongue-in-cheek references to various Star Trek shows, like “Quadrotriticale Bread”, a reference to the original Star Trek and the famous episode The Trouble with Tribbles. While this is a bread recipe, it does suggest using some unusual ingredients like pressed black olives.

While I enjoyed reading the recipes and will probably try to make a few more, it was the "mocktail" recipes that intrigued me. Special effects technician, Alan Sims, offers recipes to make some of the famous drinks in the Star Trek series.

While I made several of these “mocktails,” I did not drink them. I wasn't sure all of them are drinkable.

Andorian Ale

Gallia Nectar

Romulan Ale

I tried to make Synthehol but need to work on it some more. Plus, I think I can do better with the Gallia Nectar.

I was glad my friends were coming. Holding a New Year’s Day open house was a tradition of my mom’s, so was serving a dish made with black-eyed peas.

The night before, while I sorted out and prepared many of items I would serve, I began to prepare the Black-eyed Pea Salad (See recipe at end of post.)

I followed the instructions for cooking the black-eyed peas using my hotplate. I thought I got it right.

I stored the peas in the frig and would finish the recipe in the morning.

But, in the morning the peas just did not taste like they were fully cooked.

So, I had to add water to the peas and microwave them at least 3 times at 6 minutes each time. Finally, they tasted cooked.

But, then the original recipe did not specific a particular vinegar. So, I felt a taste test was required. I tried a sample with apple vinegar, Nah, no good. Then, one with Balsamic vinegar, Nah, so-so. Then I tried red wine vinegar and that tasted better.

In the middle of all this, I had a minor health crisis and spent at least an hour in the bathroom.

The beans overflowed in the microwave. I had to go feed my friend’s dogs. I had made a fish paste for another recipe because I had confused two recipes. But, still given that I have had many kitchen disasters in the past, I still had 2 hours to get things done.

So, I did not worry except for a few minutes when I locked myself out of my friend’s house while on the patio feeding her dogs. I had no cell phone to call anyone. I couldn’t climb the walls or find another way out.

Here I was about to entertain my friends for the first time and I was stuck on my friend’s patio. Eventually, I got help and returned to continue preparing for our lunch.

I continued making the black-eyed pea salad and preparing the appetizers.

The apartment was clean and the fans were running. Things went well.

My friends were amused watching me make the Star Trek “mocktails” that were undrinkable. We had grape juice and later champagne as our beverages.

In addition, we all enjoyed the appetizers and the black-eyed peas before we began to make the meal, Commander Benjamin Sisko's Bajoran (Deep Space Nine) Mushroom-and-Peppers Ratamba Stew. As usual I made adaptations.

Because I could not find spinach linguine, I bought spinach fettuccine. It came in a bag of pre-rolled bunches.

In compliance with GERD diet modifications, instead of tomatoes, I added a tomato bouillon to the pasta water. Plus, I used onion powder instead of whole onions.

It came out very well. Plus, it had an "alien" look because the tomato bullion made the spinach fettuccine look yellow.

It was a good meal and a good day with friends.

We are each on an adventure.

Black-eyed Pea Salad

(Adapted from: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/HNFE/HNFE-320/HNFE-320-11/HNFE-320-11.html)



2 Cups fresh, shelled black-eyed peas, washed

1 220g can of corn, drained

1 Cup bell peppers, diced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 

4 dashes onion powder

Note: Original recipe called for 2 TBspns of olive oil and 1 Tspn of ground cumin.


In a colander, wash peas.
Pour peas into saucepan.

Cover peas with water with an extra 1/2 inch of water above peas.
Bring to a boil.
Turn down heat to a simmer.

Simmer for 1 hour until peas are soft not chewy.

Drain and allow to cool.

Add to medium salad bowl.

I prepared this recipe in two and more stages.

In the morning, I wasn't happy with the peas, they seemed uncooked. So, I added about 1/2 cup water to the peas and microwaved them 3 times at 6 minutes each. Finally, I liked how the peas tasted.

Then, I added the corn, bell peppers, vinegar, ground black pepper, and onion powder. I mixed the ingredients thoroughly.

To me, the salad tastes fresh. I tried the cumin but it has a different flavor.

Note, I used various bell peppers, red, green and yellow. It gave the salad a holiday look.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Jack Monroe's Wine and Mushroom Risotto

I appreciate Jack Monroe's views on food and cooking. She wants people on a tight budget to learn how to cook healthy meals.

On their blog, Tin Can Cook (https://cookingonabootstrap.com/), she offers recipes, books and opinions.

Jack is creative and funny. They make cooking fun.

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto
(Adapted from: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/10/05/red-wine-mushroom-risotto-recipe/)

Finally, I made a Jack Monroe recipe. But, of course, I had to adapt it to my situation.

Opps, as I began, I forgot to convert the milliliters and grams to ounces, almost threw off the whole recipe. (See: https://www.metric-conversions.org/)


Olive oil
1 6.5 ounce can of mushrooms, drained
1 cup long grain rice
2 3/4 cups of bottled water
2 to 3 ounces of red wine
1 tomato bouillon cube
1 Tspn garlic powder
1 Tspn of each: rosemary, thyme and oregano
S/p to taste


Add tomato bouillon cube to water in microwaveable container. Microwave for 1-3 minutes on high to dissolve bouillon cube. Set aside.

Add a dab of oil to skillet.
Add garlic powder.
Add mushrooms.
Add rosemary, thyme and oregano.
Stir thoroughly.
Cook on medium-low temperature.
Cook for a few minutes.

Add rice.
Stir to coat rice in oil.
Cook for a few minutes. Do not burn the rice.

Add wine.
Stir continually.
Cook for a few minutes to let the rice absorb the wine. By this time, the mixture should be at a simmer, a slow, low boil.

Add 1/2 of tomato liquid slowly to mixture.
Continue to stir.
Cook for a few minutes.

Add remaining tomato liquid.
Stir and cover.
Cook on simmer.
Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Stir each time you check the mixture.

I had to set my timer 3 times: 2 for 15 minutes, 1 for 5 minutes in order to get the rice to the point where most of the liquid had been absorbed.

While the final product was great. It wasn't as creamy as I expected. Probably because I did not stir it enough at each stage.

More on Jack:

Canned Foods Helped Her Through Poverty
Washington Post

Meet Our Bloggers
The Guardian


Thursday, December 13, 2018

What's Next on the Blog

After announcing I was going to publish volume 2 of Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook based on my continuing experiments with cooking, I don't see another cookbook in all this because while I have expanded my repertoire, I have not elevated my cooking skills. I can still burn water.

Over the last few years, I tried to expand my cooking skills while still using a hotplate and a microwave.

I did increase my menu options to include: mug recipes, toast toppings, popsicles, salsas, crazy salads, slaws, and more.

Also, thoroughly enjoyed all the recipe and cookbook searches and research. Found a few gems like The Great Little Cookbook and Jack Monroe's cookbooks and website.

Learned to make a grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and mac & cheese multiple ways.

Got more comfortable using substitutions and spices even if I got it wrong sometimes.

While I don't have another cookbook yet, I have enough ideas to continue writing about cooking for a long time.

Plus, I am expanding my topic choices to include a Staycation series, more articles about writing and publishing, and more.

Afredo Pasta -- Nora's Recipe

This recipe is from a young, talented, creative baker, Nora. You can find her bakery at: https://www.facebook.com/norasbakery/

I met Nora at Starbucks on Paseo de Montejo, when I mentioned I could not cook, she was eager to help me learn how to cook an easy recipe, Alfredo Pasta.

Alfred Pasta
from: Nora the Baker


8 oz Fettuccine pasta
2 Liters Agua
1/2 Cebolla
Media Crema
100 gr de parmesano
10 camarones pelados
2 dientes de ajo finamente picados
150 ml Vino blanco
1/2 taza perejil picado


Cocer la pasta en dos litros de agua, add sal, aceite y romeo hata que este cocinda y suave.

En un sarten con un poco de manteqilla echar ajo y cebolla, luego el perejil y los camarones hasta que eren rojos.

Agregar crema, vino blanco y queso parmesano. Mezclar con la pasta. Cocida y listo!!