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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cool Off with a Spritzer Festival!

Spritzer Festival!

Spritzers cool you down, and have great flavor with fewer calories.

Your basic recipe is:

8oz glass
Ice cubes
Carbonated water
Garnish: Lime slices, orange slices, pineapple chunks, apple slices, and more (optional)

Fill glass with ice.
Fill glass 2/3rds to 7/8ths with carbonated water.
Add flavoring.
Add garnish, your choice (optional).

Ginger Ale Spritzer

Spritzers (Left to Right): Apple Juice, Coconut Cream, Coffee, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Jamaica, Tonic Water, Chocolate Sorbet, Mango, Cola Light, Orange Juice, and Ginger Ale

Not Pictured:
Decaffeinated coffee with a dollop of chocolate sorbet
Ginger Root with a bit of sugar
Grape Juice
Lime Juice
Peppermint Tea
Pomegranate Juice

Other flavor ideas:
Root Beer
Dr. Pepper

Beer Spritzer
Fill glass with ice.
Fill 2/3rds with carbonated water.
Add a bit of beer.
Add a capful of lime juice.

Beer Spritzer

Use your imagination. Make your own Spritzer!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My First Chayote Salad

Several recipes I make are made from what I have on hand.

All health and medical sites and my doctor say: “Eat more greens.”

They’re right. While I eat well, I don’t eat greens regularly. If I get a head of lettuce, it’s salads for a week. If I get cabbage, it works better because I can make a skillet dish and freeze some of it. But, it’s hard to avoid waste even if I buy half a head. and I hate waste, so my produce purchases are limited.

Since I have chosen not to go bulk grocery shopping for a bit, I have to rely on what produce the  local tiendas have and that varies day to day.

Today, I wanted to make a pepino, tomato and onion salad. All I needed was a pepino, but, all the tienda had was one green pepper and one chayote.

Green Pepper & Chayote

I have never eaten or cooked a chayote. It’s a lovely looking vegetable and it is green.

So, after researching how to use a chayote, I found I could slice it and eat it raw. So, I made a chayote, tomato, onion, and green pepper salad with a dash of grated carrot and an oil and vinegar dressing.

Small Chayote Salad

1/4 Chayote, sliced
1/4 Green pepper, sliced
1/2 Tomato, sliced
1/4 Red onion, sliced
grated carrot

Place vegetable slices in a bowl. Top with grated carrot.

Oil & Vinegar Dressing
Adapted from: http://simmerandboil.cookinglight.com/2015/05/29/why-homemade-salad-dressing-is-best/?xid=social_twitter+

3 parts Olive oil
1 part Vinegar (Vinagre La Cocinera)
3 turns of Black pepper
1/2 lime, squeezed

In a measuring cup, add oil, vinegar, black pepper and lime juice.
Pour it into a jar with a lid.
Close lid and shake.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

El Origen Cafe

El Origen is the closest cafe to my departmento.

Plus, they offer Service a Domicilio, so I get a great lunch delivered on Tuesdays!. How lucky can you get?

El Origen's menu has a vegetarian influence. The menu choices are great from stuffed peppers to various chicken or vegetable dishes that are served with vegetable soup, rice, and salad.

Casa Maryposa

If you have never lived in a city, it's great to roll out of bed in the morning and walk to any number of cafes to get breakfast and coffee.

Merida is bustling. More buildings are being renovated as residences, rentals and businesses.

Casa Maryposa is part of these changes. It is a new cafe on Calle 62. The owner, Mary, and her family make all their own recipes from fresh ingredients. It is important to Mary to make food that has the best flavors at reasonable prices. Personally, I love her sweet breads and pies.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Smashwords Forum Writers Anthology 2015 -- Seeking Submissions

Muy Sano (Mai Tai) Mocktail

I found this combo of juices delicious.

Muy Sano (Mai Tai)

Pilsner glass
4-5 Ice cubes
Orange Juice
Pomegranate Juice
Lime juice concentrate
Garnish: a lime slice, or a cherry

Add 4-5 ice cubes to Pilsner glass.
Fill glass 2/3rds with orange juice.
Fill glass 1/4th with pomegranate juice.
Add one shot of lime juice concentrate.
Do not stir.
Add garnish.

Let's Thank Johannes Gutenberg for Desktop Publishing, eBooks & more

In my opinion, the name of Johannes Gutenberg is probably as well known as Albert Einstein.

Gutenberg revolutionized the printing process by creating moveable type around 1439 and his methods were used in the printing industry until the prototype Linotype hot-metal typesetting machine was introduced in 1886. (Note: the Linotype inventor, Ottmar Mergenthaler, is less well-known than Gutenberg.)

The Linotype typesetting machine revolutionized and dominated the print industry until the invention of phototypesetting around the 1940s.

You can learn about the history of the Linotype hot-metal typesetting machine in the marvelous movie: Linotype Film at http://www.linotypefilm.com.

Learn about the development of phototypesetting in Hot Metal to Cold Type, a film in the online history of the printed word at PrintngFilms.com

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a film history of The Compugraphic 7500 phototypesetting machine which was one of several phototypesetting machines popular with small newspapers and graphic shops in the 1970s.

Compugraphic introduced a modular typesetting unit just as personal desktop computers were being introduced by Apple and IBM in the 1980s. Eventually, typesetting and some printing functions became the mainstay of personal computers.

More links:
History of Compugraphic

My First Curbside Find

It's not much, just a clothes hanger, but it's my first curbside usable find.

I have friends who find marvelous curbside items, so I keep trying to improve my ability to see value in items other people don't want.

My First Crepes with two different outcomes

I had probably read the recipe below several times. But, when it came to making the crepes, I forgot some of the steps, like refrigerating the batter. Plus, I don't have a blender.

I won't mention the other mistake because things turned out ok, sorta.

Basic Crepes
Adapted from: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28467-basic-crepes

1 cup AP flour
1/8 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp of sugar
1 1/2 cups of milk (I used light)
2 eggs
butter or olive oil as needed.

Mix dry ingredients.
Add milk slowly.
Stir with a fork to smooth lumps of batter.
Add 2 eggs.
Mix thoroughly.

Lightly coat bottom of small skillet with butter or olive oil.
Pour about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of batter into skillet.
Tilt skillet to make batter cover entire bottom of skillet.
Cook on medium-high until crepe edges brown.
Flip crepe and cook the other side for about 30-45 seconds.
Slide the cooked crepe onto a dinner plate.
Make crepes until batter is used up.

Here's where my recipe went awry. Sometimes I added a little too much batter and got a thick crepe. Sometimes, I got a very thin crepe. Cooking time for each crepe varied.

I got 6 large crepes of varying thicknesses. If all the crepes had been thin, I would probably have gotten a few more crepes.


Sliced Strawberries mixed with Whipped Topping
In a bowl, add tbspn of sliced strawberries, mix in a tbspn of topping.
Add 1-2 spoonfuls of mixture to center of crepe.
Fold each side of crepe over the filling.

Sliced Mushrooms (canned) and Grated Cheese
Add tbsp of canned sliced mushrooms (drained) to one side of crepe.
Top with 1-2 tbspns of grated cheese.
Sprinkle with ground black pepper and a few shakes of paprika.
Warm up in microwave for 10 seconds on high to melt cheese a bit.
Fold crepe in half.

Surprisingly, I used a thin crepe with the strawberry filling and it tasted okay. Then, I tried a thicker crepe with the mushroom and cheese filling and it tasted great.

There is an art to cooking and it takes practice. So, my crepe recipe needs tweaking, a lot.

Update on new hot plate: I can control the temperature better with this new hot plate. It has six temperature settings, though I still think in terms of simmer, medium, medium-high temperatures.