The Lady and Her Squirrel Friends: My First Children’s Book is Out!

Hiya! I’m back again, but this time instead of a recipe, I wanted to let you know my first children’s book has just been published! You can find the Kindle e-book and paperback book here:

I think the paperback would be more fun for children ages 3-7 because it’s an interactive book with a matching game and word search in the back, but I wanted to offer it in both formats just in case adult readers are traveling with young children and don’t have the book handy.

Synopsis of the book:

When a lady discovers a family of squirrels living high up in her bun, she is pretty surprised! Her new friends are so rowdy and rambunctious that her once tidy house is now a frightful mess! Find out how this lady and her new squirrel friends get along in this rhyming story!

This book reminds adult readers of the importance of having fun and helps teach children ages 3-7 years old that cleaning up is nice, sharing with others is kind, and both can be fun!

In the back of the book, you’ll find twenty questions for adults to ask children that will help children remember the story and interact with the reader. There is also an activity-matching page and word search for added fun!

I am currently working on two more children’s books and have a list of fun ideas to write about (most of which come from my real life.)

The backstory of The Lady and Her Squirrel Friends:

I wrote this story one day after sitting on my lanai lounging around and reading. When I came inside the house I realized I had a very large spider sitting up in my bun on the top of my head!! I KNOW, RIGHT!? Later, I sat down to write about it as a funny story. So, I changed the spider to squirrels, made up the rest, and The Lady and Her Squirrel Friends were born. When I posted the original story to my FB page people said it would make a great children’s book.

I originally wrote this story on 3/27/21. But, when I tried to find an illustrator, I quickly found out just how expensive they are and put it aside. Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a class that taught Indie authors how to illustrate our own stories, so I did it myself for much less.

Anyway, The Lady and Her Squirrel Friends books also have a glossy cover for ease of cleaning from tiny hands that may be sticky or gooey.

Note: The paperback has a tan background and the Kindle version has a white background. KDP publishing didn’t recognize the white background as being within the allotted margins, so I had to make it a complimentary color it could see.

Okay! That’s it! Sorry, I don’t have a recipe for you, but… I did make the trending Tiktok tortilla sandwich with potato salad yesterday. (I’m not on Tiktok, it came up in my FB feeds though.) It had tomato slices, avocado mash, dairy-free cheddar, and bacon on it. We are having the pizza version of this same sandwich later tonight. Below is a picture of last night’s dinner:

I hope you read my book, leave a review, and make yourself a Tiktok sandwich. So good! Hey! Maybe you could eat this sandwich AS you’re reading my book?! – Boop! Bye!

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Vegan Sausage with Vegetables, and Macaroni

This is a recipe my friend, Stan Cohen showed on his Facebook page a few days ago. When I asked for the recipe, he asked if I ate sausage. When I said, “No.” He replied, “Then, this recipe isn’t for you.”

SILLY WABBIT! When will meat-eaters realize… we have our magic ways! 😉

I told him I could make it without, and so here it is with VEGAN sausage… ready for me to make again and again. Which I definitely will! For being so simple, it was the tastiest thing we’ve had in a long time. I hope you like it as much as we did. And if you do eat sausage, feel free to make it with a regular spicy sausage of your choice. Enjoy!


2 lbs — Italian sausage, with 1/3 of it being spicy. (Or, 2 pkgs. of Beyond Breakfast spicy vegan sausage; 12 patties.)

1 — red bell pepper, cleaned and diced

1 — small onion, chopped, or onion powder to taste

1 — small container of white or portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Lots of garlic, fresh, or powdered to taste

1 — can stewed tomatoes, chopped while in skillet

1 — head of broccoli, steamed, or boiled in with the noodles

3/4 — box of macaroni, or any shaped noodle you like


Start to boil the water for the macaroni on high heat

Clean and dice all vegetables while waiting for water to come to a boil

Fry sausage, and add onions and garlic. If using frozen patties like I did, break apart as it cooks into a ground

Add the vegetables, (except for the broccoli), to the meat mixture and saute together until cooked through

Once sausage and vegetables are sauteed, add in the can of tomatoes and also break them into bite-sized pieces

Add your macaroni to the water and set the timer according to how you like your pasta cooked

When four minutes away from done, add your broccoli to the water and boil with the noodles

Drain the noodles and broccoli and then add into the skillet with your sausage and vegetables and stir

Note: We ate this for two days and it was delicious! Very simple, flavorful, and more than enough for two nights. You can also add or omit vegetables you don’t like, change or add in other spices, and make it your own. To reheat, microwave or add back to a skillet with a bit of water and heat over medium heat. Enjoy!

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Spinach “Ricotta” Rolls

Hey, my little chickpeas! Sorry for not posting here for a while, but I’m having way too much fun over on Youtube! I can only do so much in a day, so creating art is what I choose more often than not.

Anyway, we are here, in Florida, hunkered down as we get high winds and rains from Hurricane Ian. It’s like a winter’s day here today, so I thought I’d share a recipe I made a few days ago. It’s from Nagi over at Recipe Tin Eats, but I made mine dairy free by making my own “ricotta” from almond meal. The dairy-free ricotta recipe is here.


Puff pastry, two in a box. (I used Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry.) You will use both sheets. ** These are not gluten-free but are dairy free. (Because my diet is so limited, I do eat gluten occasionally because I’m not allergic to it or a Celiac. I do however steer clear of dairy at all costs!)

For the filling:

1 – 8 ounce frozen spinach, dethawed and drained.

13 ounces — ricotta, regular or dairy free.

3/4 cup — grated parmesan

1 and 1/2 cups — any, (I used shredded cheddar cheese.)

1 egg, for the filling, only if you are using regular ricotta cheese, OMIT the egg if making dairy-free ricotta. You will need 1 egg mixed with water for a wash to brush onto the rolls prior to baking.

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping of each roll:

1 egg, whisked with a tsp of water

Sesame seeds


Remove the spinach and puff pastry from the freezer and allow it to thaw.

Once unthawed, drain the spinach in a colander and press out the remaining water by pressing it with a spoon.

Add the spinach to your ricotta, and add your cheeses, garlic, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

On a cutting board, roll out the thawed puff pastry and cut it into rectangle shapes.

Add to the lower bottom half of the pastry the ricotta mixture, and divide evenly between all four rectangles you will get.

Beat one egg with a bit of water, get a basting brush

Brush the top half of the puff pastry with egg wash

Roll the bottom of the puff pastry up to the other edge and seal

Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while you make the other two rolls

Repeat the steps above by first cutting into rectangles and filling, brushing with egg and rolling up. Also, place these in the frig for 15 minutes to firm up.

Once 15 minutes is up, remove from refrigerator and cut into even pieces. Each roll yields three rolls.

Baste each with the rest of the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees on a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes.

Serve warm.

Yields: 12 rolls

*** We ate these for three days and warmed them up in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes and they were perfect. I served them with a side of edamame one day, noodle soup the next, and potatoes the next.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Rolled up and chilled
Cut up and basted with egg wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds

Dairy-Free Ricotta


If there’s one thing I miss since being diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy — it’s ricotta cheese. I found this recipe at Tastes Lovely dot com Sunday and I made a lasagna immediately thereafter. It was delicious!

With the leftover ricotta we had open-faced ricotta sandwiches drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper the next day. Yummy! You can try them with Gazpacho on one of these triple digit days! Whew!

This is super easy to make and tastes like the real deal. I will slather this on toast, pizza, pasta of any kind, as dip for veggies, and have even eaten this by the spoonful. I hope you get a chance to try this if you’re also allergic to dairy and are craving lasagna.


2 cups – almond flour

3/4 – 1 cup — water

1 — Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

2 Tbsp. — Lemon juice


Whirl this around in a high speed blender until it looks like ricotta cheese. You’ll need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula a few times to get it all incorporated. Then, transfer this yumminess to a storage container. Use anywhere you want cheese!

Now… if I could just figure out how to make cottage cheese? 😏🫤🤔 Could someone get on that?



Watch me make cookies for PRIDE MONTH on Youtube! Yes, my channel is for crafting, but these cookies were like crafting!

This recipe comes from the Pillsbury site and although it’s not the easiest cookie recipe I’ve ever made, they do come out super cute, so it’s worth it!

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Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

I don’t make or crave sweets very often, but a few weeks back my husband and I went to Bob Evans to eat and he ordered their Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie. I was so jealous and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I then craved it. So, I caved and found a vegan version I liked and wanted to make. It. was. FAB! We ate it for four days after dinner and although it was the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in a long time, I’m glad it’s gone now. I won’t be making this for a long time, but man, oh, man… I am in LOVE! FINALLY! I get to eat DESSERT!

Ingredients for the crust:

25 Oreos or Gluten-free chocolate cookies with an icing center

1/4 cup melted vegan butter

Ingredients for the Filling:

1 cup -Peanut butter

3/4 cup – powdered sugar

1/4 cup – coconut milk (from a can – after it’s been refrigerated overnight. Just the white coconut, not the liquid at the bottom.)

1 can – Chilled Coconut cream

2 Tbsp. – finely ground flax seeds

1 Tbsp. — vanilla extract

9 ounce – Dairy Free coconut whipped cream (from a tub)


Melted dairy-free chocolate chips

Melted peanut butter

Vegan peanut butter cups, chopped


I made my crust the night before…

Twirl your Oreos in a blender or food processor.

Press into a greased pie pan and then place in the freezer for four hours or for overnight

Next, make your filling by adding the peanut butter, sugar, coconut milk, and cream, flax seeds, and vanilla. Mix well with a hand mixer. Then, mix in your coconut whipped cream from the tub.

Remove pie crust from the freezer and add the filling

Melt 2 Tbsp. dairy-free chocolate chips

Melt 2 Tbsp. peanut butter

Drizzle over top of the filling

Chop dairy-free peanut butter cups and decorate the top

Place back in freezer for four hours or overnight.

Once firm, slice and enjoy!

I found this recipe at beplantwell

Cashew Cabbage

This recipe is easy to make and is a great way to get your veggies and your protein. Simply serve over rice and you have a tasty, simple dinner. It’s delicious and reheats really well. We ate it again today and it was still as tasty as the first day.


2 Tbsp. – Oil for frying

1 small – Onion, or onion powder

1 small head – cabbage, sliced

1 – Celery sliced, or celery salt to taste

1 – Carrot, peeled and julienned

1 Cup – Mushrooms

1 – Red Bell pepper, sliced

1 Cup – Whole cashews

1/4 Cup – White wine

1/4 Cup – Soy Sauce or Tamari of gluten-free

Splash – Sesame Oil

Generous Sprinkle – Garlic Power

Black Pepper to taste


Wash, prep, and cut up all vegetables

Add oil to skillet and heat

Add onion, celery, and carrots and fry for five minutes

Then, add mushrooms, pepper, and cashews

Fry for another five minutes

Add wine, soy sauce, and cabbage

Stir well, cover with a lid, and steam until cabbage is tender

Stir in sesame oil, garlic, and black pepper and serve over rice

I found this recipe at: Thanks, Susan!

Vegetarian Fried Rice with “Cheese.”

Vegetarian Fried Rice with “Cheese”

This recipe came up in my feeds on Youtube today and realized I already had some leftover white rice from our Chinese night, which was going to make dinner even easier for me. Yes, please!

I found this yumminess on Mary’s Test Kitchen. Her version is completely vegan. Mine is vegetarian due to the addition of eggs. She makes hers in a skillet and then broils them in oven-proof crocks. I made my version in two skillets and a saucepan. But, whether you make it Mary’s way or my way, you’ll have a rich, creamy dinner in no time.


1 & 1/2 cups – cooked rice. (Make fresh rice or reheat leftovers with some water in a skillet.)

1/4 cup – frozen corn, thawed

Handful – thawed peas

1 Tbsp – Nutritional Yeast

1/2 tsp. – sugar or sweetener

1/4 tsp. – salt

1/8th tsp. – pepper (Mary’s called for white pepper, I used black.)

1/2 cup – liquid vegan “egg” or I used 3 – medium-sized eggs, scrambled

3/4 pound – vegan ground beef (or you could use regular beef)

1 tsp. – vegan oyster sauce, soy sauce, or tahini if gluten-free

1 Tbsp. – water

For the Bechamel:

2 Tbsp. – vegan butter, melted

2 Tbsp. – all-purpose flour (yes, use GF flour if you need to, I did.)

1/2 cup – plant-based milk, I used almond

Sprinkle on onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper

Water – approximately 2 Tbsp.

Hello, my little Bechamel.

Top Bechamel with:

2 handfuls – Vegan mozzarella shreds/slices

Directions: (This is what I did)

Break apart precooked, leftover rice into a skillet with a little oil and water until you can spread it flat with a spatula.

Season with nutritional yeast, sugar/sweetener, and pepper. Stir.

Fold in thawed peas and corn. (I only had peas, so I left out the corn. Use what you have.)

In another smaller skillet fry your vegan ground. Use three-quarters of this for the rice recipe. Save the rest for something else.

Move warmed-up rice to the side of the larger skillet and add in your vegan “egg” or scrambled eggs and fry till set. When fully cooked, stir rice and eggs together, add in almost all the “beef” and mixture and turn off the heat.

Heat oven to Broil

In a small saucepan, make your bechamel topping by melting the butter, adding the flour, and whisking in plant milk to create a thick white sauce. If it thickens too much, add water until it’s a pourable consistency.

Season the white bechamel with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

Pour this mixture over top of the rice and spread out with a spatula

Top this with vegan mozzarella and place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning, but not burnt.

All Done!

Thanks Mary! This was really delicious! What a great way to use up your leftover rice and get your protein too!

Snap Pea and Roasted Corn with Orange Vinaigrette

I know it’s miserably cold where you’re at; you may even be snowed in, but, how about a taste of sunshine with your hot soup? That’s what THIS is! I could seriously eat this for my entire dinner.

Cameron Diaz made this in a little “story” that came up in my feeds the other day on FB and although she didn’t give measurements, I thought I’d figure it out. And I did. You’re welcome!


1— (8 ounce bag) — Snap peas, washed. (Please wash them again, even if the bag says they already are.)

4— ears of corn. Oh, it’s not corn season? Buy it in the can or frozen.

1— large orange, juiced and some of the zest.

1— large clove Garlic, minced.

2— Tbsp. Olive oil. One for the pan you’ll be roasting the corn in, and one for the vinaigrette.

1 1/2— tsp. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Husk and wash corn. Cut off cob. Add to 1— Tbsp. hot olive oil and start to fry. Turn down heat to simmer and slow roast until brown, moving it about in the pan with a spatula. The corn gets nice and chewy and sweet.

Wash snap peas, cut off pointy ends. Discard ends, cut snap peas up into small pieces (about the size of a kernel of corn,) set snap peas aside in a bowl large enough to hold the corn when it’s done too. The snap peas will look like sliced green onions.

In small bowl add 1 Tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tsp. rice vinegar, juice of one orange, and some zest. Whisk until well incorporated. Adjust to your taste and add salt and pepper.

Before I whisked it…

By now, the corn is aromatic and getting brown. Keep going until it gets a nice caramel color on most of the kernels. Add to your snap peas.

Toss in vinaigrette and stir well.

Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately as a side dish with any meal, or enjoy by itself.

You may have extra vinaigrette! Don’t toss!

Jujube and Ginger Tea

Burr! You keeping’ warm? I hope so! Yesterday, and the day before, I rode my bike 9 miles each day and today it’s FRICKIN FREEZING! 43 degrees and windy! Yikes! There’s a definite winter season in Florida for those of us acclimated to triple digits. I know, I can hear your eye roll from here… nobody gets it until they’ve lived here awhile.

Anyway, because the weather dictated, today is all about coziness and staying inside. And I love it! I made pancakes, rice krispy treats, and this tea today— and I’m calling it done. I got the chance to pull out my big fuzzy socks, warm sweatpants, and do what I do best. Chill.

I’ve enticed many a men out into raging winter storms for my homemade ginger tea with honey and lemon over the years, so when this came up in my feeds on YT, I thought, “What is a Jujube and where can I get some?!”

Turns out a jujube (pronounced Ju-Jube) is a Chinese red date. And this recipe is from one of my favorite YT ladies: Maangchi. Thank you, Maangchi!

Dates are high in potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants and are great for your skin and warding off colds.

We called five different local Asian markets, but nobody sold them around us, so my husband ordered them online right away and they arrived today!

This is what they look like:

My husband calls them juju 🐝’s.


4 ounces — jujubes, washed and cut halfway through the middle. (Mine had a small pit. You do not need to remove this.)

Hi there, little feller!
He’s cozy!

6 cups — water

Ginger— peeled; about an inch and a half to two inches long. Sliced.

1 — cinnamon stick

Pine nuts, a few for each mug

That’s it!


Place in a tea pot or pan like I did mine below, bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then turn heat to medium to low and simmer for 1 — hour.

When times up, strain out the dates, ginger pieces, and cinnamon stick in a strainer until the liquid is removed. Press spoon against the ingredients within the strainer to fully get the goodness inside the dates and then discard the boiled ingredients.

What you have left is a dark brown liquid you top with pine nuts and it tastes like Autumn in a mug! 🥰

My dates were small, so 4 ounces for me was 25 dates.
6 pretty pine nuts swimming in a row. 🙄
Here’s to your health and staying warm and cozy! Until next time… 😘