Eat– for Good Health

The Green Goddess Salad, invented at San Francisco Palace Hotel in the 1920s has become a sophisticated staple. Usually it combines fresh shrimp, cucumber, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes with homemade green goddess dressing. Watch out for the dressing.  My low calorie recipe is just as delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp fat free mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp fat free sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp chives, or green part of a scallion, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 average anchovies canned in oil drained, minced

All you do is mix until creamy.

GreenGoddessDressing_175_600

Wordsmith– I also write books

I’m now tackling the first phase of edits with well known, talented editor, Sharon Pickrel, assigned to me and my book, Deadly Alliance.  Yes, friends, I said first phase, and this round has to do with Tirgearr in-house preferences.  With four rounds, it’s no wonder I admire the writing quality coming from Tirgearr Publishing, leading the pack in Ireland.

Tirgearr logo-125x158

I’ve recovered from our far-from-restful vacation– in Vancouver where our niece works as a set designer and at the San Juan Islands off the state of Washington where we kayaked along with the whales.  Both are beautiful spots, and I’ve never tasted such delicious apples and peaches as in B.C. and Washington.

Orca

Patos Island Light (photo credit - Tom Reeve)
Patos Island Light (photo credit – Tom Reeve)

People craft– getting along with yourself

As my husband Gerry worked late again in order to leave on our ten-day vacation to Vancouver and the San Juan Islands off the state of Washington, he said, “It’s good to get away.”  He’s exhausted but meant it when he signed us up for a six-hour kayaking tour. I also love ocean kayaking.  Orca aren’t the only whales found in the waters of the San Juan Islands. Northern minke whales also live in the inland coastal waters of Washington but can be shy of boat traffic.  He hopes to see some whales up close!

kayak trip

Wordsmith– I also write books

My WIP hero is a retired Navy SEAL who brought home his trained war dog.  I love doing research while writing. Here is a misconception about military trained war dogs.  Yes, they are trained to bite, and this can result in missing teeth.  They only bite on command.  Replacing injured teeth with titanium (at a cost between $600-$2,000/tooth) is one way to help a dog continue its service. War dogs wear tactical body armor.  A dog’s assault suit costs $89,000 with wireless cameras, radio communications. Infrared night cameras relay visuals from as far as a thousand yards away. Speakers are included so that handlers can communicate with the dogs! Approximately three thousand retired war dogs are adopted annually.

Navy SEAL war dog

Exercise– for Body and Spirit

The Laser has been around a long time.  When we lived in Pines Lake (Wayne, New Jersey) I raced one.  Small boat dingy sailing is a test to sailing ability.  Winning has to do with “playing wind shifts”.

The design, by Bruce Kirby, emphasizes simplicity and performance. The dinghy is manufactured by independent companies in different parts of the world, including Americas, Europe, Australia, and Japan.

The Laser is one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in the world. As of 2012, there are more than 200,000 boats worldwide. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it is robust and simple to rig and sail in addition to its durability. The Laser also provides very competitive racing due to the very tight class association controls which eliminate differences in hull, sails and equipment.  Next week the Irish Laser Regatta will take place off Dublin!

Irish Laser

Eat– for Good Health

Tonight I’m making a side dish, Tortellini with Grilled Veggies, to go with oven-baked BBQ chicken. Grilled summer vegetables are a good taste combination with quick cooking fresh tortellini. Add a little lemon juice, chopped green onion, and parsley to your favorite vinaigrette. Photo below is courtesy of Hector Sanchez and styling by Buffy Hargett Miller.

tortellini and grilled veggies

Ingredients

1 (8-oz.) package sweet mini bell peppers, trimmed and seeded

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-and-spinach tortelloni

3 medium zucchini cut lengthwise

½ cup vinaigrette

1 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Toss zucchini and peppers with desired amount of salt and pepper.
  2. Grill vegetables, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Coarsely chop.

3. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Toss together warm tortelloni, grilled vegetables, and vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature; sprinkle with basil just before serving.

Wordsmith– I also write books

Something truly enjoyable when writing a book is research.  In my work-in-progress. Lily’s Pad, my thirty-year-old heroine Lily owns a beach-side eatery, Lily’s Pad.  She maintains a lily pond with koi fish in her shady outdoor dining area.  It’s important to ground conversation into real life with sensory perceptions.  She is crushing on Grady Fletcher, the new second grade teacher in Moonlight Cove.  A baseball player before his accident asks if she could hostess a field trip to her eatery.  In the scene I’ll write today she tells the class how she keeps the fish from eating the tender green pads by sinking the clay pots (with plants in rock) low in the water.  “There’s some nibbling, but the larger pads survive just under water.”  Naturally Lily tells the class it’s okay to feed them a bite of crust from the sandwiches she served them.  Incidentally Grady found his calling as a second grade teacher.  He’s about to be engaged to someone else… having second thoughts.

small koi

Lily Pad

Places– of Charm

Do you enjoy the tranquility of a lily pond?  Water lilies appear delicate, but don’t let their exotic aura fool you. These flowers are as tough as they are beautiful. Water lilies grow well in any USDA hardiness zone.  Water lilies can be grown in a tub on the patio or in ponds of any size. They grow from tubers planted in pots beneath the water and send up stems with rounded leaves and star-shaped blossoms that float on the surface.  They are daytime bloomers, blossoming in the morning and closing after sunset.  The blooms last about three days before sinking beneath the surface.  In winter climates hardy water lilies go dormant and can be left in the water.  Tropical water lilies bloom with vibrant, almost electric colors but must be removed and stored if water temperature is lower than 70 degrees F.

Lily's lily pond

People craft– taking care of yourself

One of our sons, after being devastated when his fiance broke it off, initially decided to “try being alone” for awhile.  We went to lunch.  None of us agreed.  Here’s why– that’s not fun! Weary analysis!  Self blame– he wonders, “Did I spend too much time playing the sax?” Or, “Did it bother her I’m balding in the back of my head?”  Who knows!

Our suggestion? Go ahead, Enjoy a rebound relationship, which offers fun, companionship and excitement.  As one daughter, Marla, said, “Don’t worry about a long-term committed relationship.  Get out there and see who you meet.  It might turn into something or not.” The photo below was taken by Marla.  My husband Gerry paid for lunch but had to rush back to the office.  From left to right, grandson D’mitri, daughter-in-law Jan, son Ted (looking happier), son Johnny, me, and daughter Janice.

.  Ted's bday lunch

Eat– for Good Health

Yum!  It’s tomato season, and here is my recipe for no-bake veggie lasagna with no meat backup plan.  There’s plenty of protein in the fava beans and cheese.

summer-veggie-lasagna

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large lasagna noodles
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into “half-moons”
  • 8 asparagus spears
  • 8-12 fresh fava beans (optional)
  • ½ cup of corn ( fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp prepared pesto
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, cool slightly. Brush each side of noodle with olive oil so they don’t stick together. Set aside.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese and pesto in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Heat grill pan or grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl (or ziplock bag) drizzle cut zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and asparagus with olive oil to coat. Grill until vegetables are tender and grill marks are visible. Asparagus may take a little longer than other vegetable to cook. Cut asparagus into bite size pieces. Set vegetables aside.
  4. If using fresh corn, cut corn off the cob and heat in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap until tender. Approx. 15-20 sec., set aside.
  5. Shell fava beans by breaking the pod near the stem and pulling the string that runs down the middle of the pod. Beans are easily removed with your finger or a spoon. (usually 4-5 beans per pod). Fava beans have a slightly waxy looking layer which can be eaten just as is, if you prefer you can remove the waxy layer. Blanching the beans in hot water for approx. 30 sec. makes it very easy to remove the waxy layer.
  6. Assemble the lasagna. Cut each lasagna noodle in thirds. Place one piece of noodle (1/3) on plate , spread a spoonful of ricotta/pesto mixture evenly on noodle. Add zucchini, squash, tomato, asparagus, corn, and fava beans. Sprinkle with basil. Repeat layering twice. Garnish the top layer of veggies with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese.