Recipe for Happiness & Other News

I know, I know! You are here for recipes and what’s with all this book stuff? You didn’t follow this site for that!

O.k! I got it!

So, here’s my personal recipe for happiness:

Ingredients:

  • 1 – human companion that is willing to grow and learn with you along life’s path
  • 1 – 2+ furry type companions, or maybe a fish or two
  • 1 – box like structure that holds these precious beings — you are counted in that equation, just so you know. 😉
  • Add in as much home-cooking as possible (see note below); mostly vegetables
  • Allow in the occasional decadent indulgences of “waffle and pancake days” or Chinese night in pajamas while consuming copious amounts of reading and/or Netflicks or Ghost stories and/or large amounts of watching art journal videos
  • Have a home library
  • Make lots of art and decorate your box-like structure with all your homemade wares and those of the artists you support. (We recently visited Asheville, NC and The WoolWorth Walk was my all time favorite! So inspiring, and of course I couldn’t resist getting ideas and bringing home some homemade goodies. — By the way, I just opened an Etsy store here if you’d like to take a look. I have even more Halloween to come soon and of course some non-Halloween items I’ve made too, including my book with a homemade bookmark made just for you! I’ve been busy…)
  • Get outside as much as possible and walk or hike up a mountain — it clears the head and moves your creative juices around
  • Listen to the birds sing and to what nature has to say to you. It’s there, if you listen
  • Get massages regularly, if you can’t do that — invest in a good foam roller, $40 at Target and roll around on the floor —you are welcome!
  • Add in some healthy liquid like water, coffee, or tea to keep it all succulent and beautiful, and give it all a good stir

Directions:

  • Take in as much as possible of these things (except for the waffles and pancakes) and bake them up for one sweet day!
  • Enjoy!

Happy now? O.k.

I need ya’ll to go over and read my post on my other blog today and follow me there, k?

Note: This blog was started 7 years ago, May 11, 2011 to be exact. There are 161 posts here and to be quite honest, my life is changing rapidly; (more on that another time.) Since that time, my husband and I have retired, portions have gotten smaller, appetites have shrunk, interests have changed — A LOT! — and lately with the publishing of my first book Steel Town Girl, I’ve allowed a lot more take out and going out to eat than usual. I’ve had to in order to get anything else done.

Here’s something that might blow your mind:

My husband retired from his job after 33 years. I have been at the stove since I was nine. That’s 41 years of cooking something for someone. And I’m tired.

So, with that being said, I still love cooking, I still try to make healthy choices, but posts here may get less and less, and unless you follow me at my new blog, we may not get to know what’s going on with one another. If you follow me there, I’ll be sure to follow back.

Peace, love and happiness to you all and I hope this recipe turns out well for you!

Let me know what you’d add (or delete) in the comments!

Bonus! Right now, until Nov 27, 2018 if you buy the Kindle version of my book Steel Town Girl, you’ll get a $4.30 credit toward the purchase price of any other book listed on “Great on Kindle.”

 

 

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Steel Town Girl, is now also available on Kindle!

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I’m a published author ya’ll!

When you self-publish your work, your paperback version and your Kindle e-book will have different time frames as to how long it will take for each to be available for sale. It also takes about three days for the paperback link and the Kindle link to merge on Amazon, to make shopping easier, so I am sharing that with you all now. Pretty cool to see it that way.

When I updated Friday, I was getting ready to go out to celebrate hitting the publish button, and fully expected it to be another five to seven days, like they said it would be before it was available for sale. But, my husband came rushing upstairs excited, yelling that I might want to have some wine at dinner because he discovered my paperback had already gone live on Amazon. Whaaat?!

It took one day. From hitting publish to availability. — Yay! Yikes!

So, we went out to a crab leg dinner and needless to say, when the waitress asked me if I’d like a six ounce or nine ounce glass of Riesling, I said, nine. Then, later… said, I’ll take another six.

Then, we saw a movie — Did you see The House with a Clock in Its Walls? — Awesome! We loved it! If you are the discarded black sheep of your family, have felt as if dealing with your past is somehow equivalent to facing down the devil himself — (and you love Halloween like I do), THIS is your movie! Totally ironic I chose this as the movie I wanted to see on pub day. And during the movie, unbeknownst to me, I had received an email that my Kindle e-book was now up on Kindle but I didn’t see it till morning. Because I two days “off” I am telling you about it now.

Hence, another update about my book Steel Town Girl.

Thanks for listening! Stay tuned for some stuff. Fun stuff!

Are you by chance a self-published author? If so, what book did you write? Leave me a comment and let’s connect.

~ You are Loved,

Robin

 

Pub Day! 9/21/18

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This is what showing up for yourself looks like after twenty-seven years of putting yourself on hold! I’m both a ball of anxiety and an empty sack of relief!

Today, is PUB DAY for me! Yay! A day I thought would NEVER get here!

My book Steel Town Girl, a memoir, is now available on Amazon!

Tomorrow, the Kindle version will be out if you prefer e-books over paperback.

Thanks for your support!

I gotta go celebrate now!

~ Robin

#STG

Egg Loaf

There’s two words you don’t usually see together.

What is it? A Ketogenic diet created version of French toast. I found this recipe on YT here.

I made mine with vegan butter, and a coconut-based vegan cream cheese, and when it was done it looked just like the one in the video.

I wanted to try this because it piqued my interest, and because today was a beautiful rainy day where I piddled around in the house all day, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

But, I’m not sure I’d make it again? It tastes ‘similar’ to, not exactly like French toast to us. And because we’re not on a keto diet anymore, I’d rather make French toast the old-fashioned way.

Anyway, maybe you’re on a keto diet and haven’t heard of it and might really enjoy it, so I decided to pass it along.

Ingredients:

8- eggs

1- stick butter, or vegan butter, softened.

1- block cream cheese, or container of vegan cream cheese, softened.

Cinnamon

Directions:

Whirl, twirl and swirl, the eggs, softened butter and cream cheese in a blender.

Pour into a greased dish.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

It will be puffy when you take it out of the oven so let sit for 5 minutes.

Cut and top with pure maple syrup.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat

Wait… what?

Yep. And it’s frickin’ delicious and so easy all you do is twirl it, bake it and eat it.

I got this keeper from Lindsay at: Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

3 cups- cauliflower

2 cups- walnuts

2- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1- Tablespoon chili powder

1- teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

How to:

Throw all this in a food processor and whirl until obliterated into tiny pieces.

I then put this into a big bowl and stirred well to make sure everything was well incorporated (you can skip this if you feel it’s stirred well.)

Topple mixture out onto a greased baking sheet pan and bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Stir and re-spread flat with your spatula once during baking. As you can see, it looks like browned hamburger when you’re done.

I made Vegetarian Chipotle bowls (on plates 😂) by adding, some rice, homemade corn salsa, mashed avocado and a few lime salt tortilla chips. You could use this for tacos, burritos or quesadillas too.

Enjoy! Aka: El yummo!

And I made some sweet cornbread for dessert:

Easy Vegan Pho Soup

When we first eliminated meat from our diet, we went full on vegan and ate no animal products at all.

Although we managed to get through our Jamaica vacation completely vegan, once we got home we decided to add eggs back into our diet.

Vegetarian it is then! – We used to eat Paleo and restricted carbs and were fatter and more tired. Now, we eat GF noodles, rice and quinoa and are thinner and have more energy. Go figure! – I guess its about finding what works best for our bodies and lifestyles and then trying new things when those other things stop working, right?

Anyway, this soup although still vegan, was the first dish I made after returning home when I felt run down from traveling. Wowee! Talk about flavorful! And, it was simple to make. It was a cozy, wonderful healthy bowl of yum!

I got this recipe from: It doesn’t taste like chicken

Ingredients for the broth:

8 cups – vegetable broth

3 cups – water

1 – yellow onion, quartered

4 – garlic cloves, chopped

3 – whole star anise

3- whole cloves

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into coins

1 – cinnamon stick

Soy sauce to taste

1 – pkg. rice noodles

Directions:

Add broth, water, anise, cloves, ginger and cinnamon to a pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

In a separate pot make your rice noodles, aldente and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

When broth is done, add soy sauce to your taste. (It was here that I added in my mushrooms and snow peas to cook a bit so they weren’t too chewy.)

Serve up by adding rice noodles to your bowl first.

Ladle the broth on top of noodles leaving out your large pieces of spices.

My toppings:

I used, mushrooms, green onions, sweet red peppers, carrots, jalapeños, snow peas, lime and squeezed lime over top.

Other topping ideas could be:

Peanuts, bean sprouts, tofu, basil, cilantro, mint and/or hot sauce. – Just have fun with it!

If you make this when you’re not feeling well, it will definitely make you feel better. Pho real!

Below: photos I took in Jamaica. No worries mon, every little thing is gonna be alright. One love! 🤘🏼

Stir-fried Vegetable Fettuccini

Hey everyone!

Since we’ve transitioned to plant based eating on March 1st, I’ve been on the lookout for flavorful vegetarian meals. Since that date, my husband has lost 14 lbs. and I’ve lost 12.

I lamented over eating meat for years and started by removing red meat, doing meatless Monday’s and then only making the occasional chicken tenders/kabobs or shrimp meals.

It wasn’t until I was making beef stew for my son visiting in February that I gagged as I browned the meat and opted for a bowl of cereal for dinner instead. I told my husband I no longer wanted to buy, cook or eat meat. When he said he’d eat whatever I made, it was like a weight lifted! – I had some sort of idea in my head that men and muscles needed meat for protein. So not true! Yay!

I got this recipe from Vegan Lovlie and boy oh boy are her recipes full of flavors! You can follow her on YouTube if you’d like to see how she and her boyfriend prepare this particular recipe if you’d like to watch it before making.

Without further ado, the recipe:

Ingredients:

1- pkg. pasta of your choice, I had fettuccine so I used that, hers was spaghetti. (Use the word “spaghetti” when searching her website.)

1- inch ginger, minced or chopped

2- carrots, made into matchsticks

1- cup snow peas, remove the “string” by grabbing the curly end and pulling down on each pea.

1/2 cup- broccoli florets

1-cup mushrooms, sliced

5- stems of kale

Several scallions, sliced

2- Tablespoons coconut oil

2- Tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 and 1/2 Tablespoons jerk bbq sauce

1-2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1- Tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Boil your pasta according to package directions and rinse in cool water. (I undercooked mine since you will be adding it back to the skillet for a few more minutes of stir frying and for reheating the next day.)

Wash, cut and prepare your vegetables.

Start sautéing the carrots in the oil first, fry for a few minutes and set aside, then add in broccoli, adding in a splash of water. Fry for 3-4 minutes, set aside.

Add mushrooms, a bit of your teriyaki and a small amount of the BBQ sauce. Sauté for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add kale to the pan with a little water. Cool until wilted. Set aside.

Add ginger to the pan with a splash of oil, sauté for a minute.

Add in your cooked and drained pasta and toss well.

Add all the sautéed veggies you’ve set aside.

Add all the sauces, stir.

Add lemon juice, and toss again.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with scallions.

Can add hot sauce to individual servings for added zip!

This reheated well the next day. Be sure to undercook pasta for additional stir-frying as well as reheating. Your veggies should be firm and snappy.

We loved it! Enjoy!

Now, rather than eating animals we go to the sanctuary to cuddle them and feed them. Also, a picture of the garden we planted this year. Straw bale gardening! Super cool! No weeds, less wrenching your back and they can even be placed on cement. We went to a seminar about it at our local nature center and it is just the neatest thing! Below is a picture of the book I bought about it on Amazon.

Have a great day!

Sweet Potato Falafel

Hey Y’all! So much has happened in the one year and four months since uploading my last recipe here! Yikes! It’s been that long!! But, first things first. The recipe!

(If this looks different from previous posts it’s because I’m updating from my phone! How cool is that?)

I got this recipe from: http://www.pinchofyum.com

Ingredients:

1- sweet potato, raw

1 cup- quinoa or rice cooked, I used quinoa to up the protein.

1/2 cup- almonds

1/2 cup- flour, I used Glutino GF flour

1- egg

Salt to taste

Oil of your choice to fry, I used coconut.

Directions:

Blend raw sweet potato in food processor first, till ground into very small pieces, add in cooked quinoa or rice, almonds, egg and blend more. Add in flour and give that a whirl too.

Form into balls the size of a tablespoon and fry till golden brown.

I plated ours on top of a salad for dinner and oh my goodness, they were delicious!

I processed an extra sweet potato and extra quinoa so tomorrow I can make even more. They are that good!

Note: As you can see from the photo, some of the falafels crumbled, possibly from my GF flour? – But they were still delicious and we liked the crumbles over the salad even better than the balls.

Secondly, we live in Tennessee now! Florida? Hated it! Sure, the weather. But, for us, it was like Groundhog’s Day everyday. Ick! It was totally disorienting to my senses to look out the window and see green all the time. Almost three years of green? No thanks! I’m a four seasons girl who needs boots and jeans, sweaters and hoodies as well as bathing suits and flip flops. The winter here this year, they said was the worst it’s been in ages as we laughed from the window wondering where in the hell all the snow was? In Florida, most people from our neighborhood were the most nosey people I’d ever met in my life. What else are you going to do when you live in a retirement community but hate on the 46 year old next door?

So, May 3rd was a year here in Tennessee and the only thing I miss about Florida is my golf cart! 😂 (We may go back when we’re in our seventies or eighties or should any future health issues dictate,) but for now, we’re still too young to live around seniors and now call Tennessee home where we are among the nicest, kindest people we’ve ever met in our lives! Sometimes people are so kind and go so far out of their way for you, I’ve wondered if I’m being punked! And I have a garden again!

Thirdly, the other reason you’ve not heard much from me here is because I’ve been busy writing and I’ve finally finished writing my childhood memoir! Yay me! It’s about how I grew up with and dealt with abuse from two narcissistic parents. It will be out in a handful of months!!! This is the book cover:

I’ve also started a blog about my book and am trying to drive over my 6,000+ followers from here, to there… if you’re interested. If not, that’s fine too. Like having you here. The blog about my book is at: http://www.Robin-Donnelly.com

If you visit, you’ll see that although that blog is new, with only a few posts, the first thing you’ll notice is my vision for the cover has changed over time and due to the heavy nature of some of the things I write about in my book, has been quite the journey for me to say the least. In the midst of writing through painful memories I was diagnosed with C-PTSD in the fall of 2016 and have excelled in my counseling to process all the pain from childhood, and beyond.

I’ve learned a lot in the last five and a half years about narcissism; what it is, who in my life has it, or had it, to what degree they were affected; whether or not they had flexible traits or were full on pathological with no hope of seeing anyone but themselves. Lots of those.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself and how my past allowed me to attract and then make excuses for people who treated me poorly my whole life. Over the years, I’ve deleted a ton of narcs from my life who were only too happy to take, project, bully, or manipulate me in some way shape or form.

No more.

I don’t associate with energy drainers, crazy makers, overly sensitive, immature people who can’t apologize or see their own side of an issue. I no longer carry other peoples emotions for them, or allow them to project their pathology onto me.

My journey has been an eye-opener for sure and I can say with a hundred percent certainty, once you know what this affliction is, you see it everywhere. I’m not talking about low spectrum stuff either. Yikes, what an eye opener.

Anyway. I’ll be hard at work finalizing, then self-publishing. When I’m not hard at work, I’ll be sitting in my tree house in Tennessee listening to the birds and admiring my garden.

Enjoy your falafels and hope to see you around!

Thanks for listening,

Robin

Turmeric Sweet Potatoes with Poached Eggs and Lemon Dressing

Healing Bowl

Healing Bowl

“Oh my my, oh hell yeah, honey put on your party dress, buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come cuz I can’t stay long!”

– And you won’t want to if this is what’s for dinner! Get home NOW, because THIS IS BEYOND DELICIOUS!

This little ditty was scored over at Pinch of Yum under #healingbowls. It came up in my newsfeeds on FB and I had to try it. I must say that Lindsay over there came up with a taste sensation with this one! Mine had zero salt and pepper in it. Why? Because it’s so full of flavor, you don’t need it.

O.k. onto healing. The good news… my Hashimoto’s antibodies are down to 52! I’m healing! When diagnosed in March of ’15, they were 77, so I’m going in the right direction and aiming for under 30, which means remission. Everything we put in our mouths adds to our health or takes health away. And everything in this bowl is on the list of healing foods and spices. Go on… try it. And while you’re eating, savor it and think of all the good you’re doing for your body. Our minds are powerful and believe what we tell it! I tell my mind good things! 🙂

What you will need for the entire recipe: 

2- large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 teaspoons- turmeric

3 – cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable broth (4 cups if you cook your quinoa in it too.)

5 ounces- spinach ( a small container-full)

4- Eggs (1 for each bowl, fried or poached. (Of course, I like to be difficult and take mine poached. 🙂

Large handful pistachios, (whirled in a food processor)

1 – cup dry quinoa (cooked according to package directions), I cooked my quinoa in vegetable broth not water so my recipe took 4 cups of vegetable broth. 2 cups if you use water…)

__________________________________________________________

Directions in steps:

For the mashed sweet potatoes:

2- large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 teaspoons- turmeric

3 – cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable broth

Do this: Cut sweet potatoes into chunks. Add to a skillet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and start to fry

Add your 2 cups of vegetable broth and your 2 tsp. turmeric.

Simmer until broth is absorbed.

Meanwhile (because you’re a multi-tasker):

Make quinoa according to package directions while potatoes simmer.

When it’s done, fluff with a fork and keep on stove in pot.

Cut up spinach, dress with some of the dressing and toss. Just enough to soften it. Set aside. I used my food processor and only pulsed it a bit.

Whirl your pistachios in a food processor

Remove potatoes from pan to a bowl and mash by hand or with a mixer. Set aside.

For the lemon dressing:

1/4 cup – lemon juice

1/3 cup –  olive oil

2 tsp- raw honey

1- clove garlic, minced

parsley (fresh or dried is fine, I did a few shakes of dried.)

1/4 tsp. salt – (to taste) – I left this out and it was fine

Mix some of the dressing into whipped potatoes and stir in. Oh hell yeah! Delicious!

When everything is done, make your eggs however you like; fried or poached.

Now assemble your healing bowl:

Take a scoop of  dressed spinach, a scoop of quinoa, a scoop of sweet potatoes and add that to the bottom of the bowel, top it with a poached egg and sprinkle with pistachios. Top each bowl with a little drizzle of the lemon dressing and enjoy!

It sounds like a lot, but it comes together easily. This serves four regularly hungry people or two very hungry people. My husband and I ate almost all this with only a tiny bit of sweet potato mash left over. Oink, oink!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Make an assembling station when food is done, like this!

Make an assembling station when food is done, like this! The quinoa is still in the pot on the stove.

Dressing in food processor

Dressing in food processor. YUMMY!

 

 

Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Spaghetti with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

Spaghetti with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

You may say, “Did someone say bacon?” But, I’m more like, “Did someone say brussels sprouts?” My favorite veggie!

I rarely make pasta anymore, you know because of being gluten and dairy free and all (and the fact that we eat the whole damn pan…), but I just had to try this with gluten free pasta. And, it was a hit! (And yes, we ate the whole damn pan! LOL!)

Hope you enjoy it like we did!

Ingredients:

6- slices of thick bacon (or more if you like, you can never have too much), fried crisp and patted dry

1 pound – brussels sprouts,  washed, stems removed, and cut up in smaller pieces

3 – tablespoons of olive oil

3/4 pounds – GF pasta (ore regular if you are not GF)

4 cloves – garlic, sliced

1/2 cup- Parmesan cheese if you aren’t dairy free. (I didn’t use this)

Directions: 

Cut up bacon with kitchen shears and fry over medium heat in a skillet

Remove from the pan when crisp and drain on paper towel

Add water and a pinch of salt to a large pan and bring to a boil, when the water is boiling add your pasta and cook according to the package directions, meanwhile…

Back to the skillet you were cooking your bacon in…  now put in your prepped brussels sprouts and toss around until brown in places and aldente for about 7 minutes

When they are done, remove those to a paper towel as well

Drain your pasta when done, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water

In the same skillet, add your garlic to the 3 tablespoons of oil and heat through until fragrant.

Add back to the skillet both the bacon and brussels sprouts, then add your freshly drained pasta and the 1/2 cup of pasta water and stir until well incorporated and heated through.

Remove from heat.

Plate and sprinkle with Parmesan.

You. are. welcome.

All gone!

All gone!