Breakfast al Fresco

We have been having an extraordinarily lovely summer, thus have spent some mealtimes on the deck.  Most notably – the famous “Pre-breakfast Breakfast” feast!

Not sure why the pancakes look so dark; weren’t that way in real life.  The cooked five-grain cereal, yogurt, fruit, nuts, granola, and seeds came later.

It’s a wonderful life!  ;->

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Calorie Cutting with Tapioca

I am continuing my love affair with tapioca.  Who knew it could be so versatile and useful?

I’ve been experimenting with it for several months now, and am finding more and more benefits.

Firstly, I must confess that I don’t follow the recipe exactly.  It calls for beating the egg whites separately and then folding them into the final product.  I wasn’t sure that additional air in the pudding would enhance it enough for me to go to the trouble of making the beaten whites . . . so I didn’t do it!

Next up was the 1/2 cup of sugar that the recipe calls for.  Usually I follow a recipe fairly closely the first time, but a half cup of sugar in two cups of milk seemed like overkill, so I cut it in half.  Subsequently, I cut it in half again – to two tablespoons.  This amount made it more than sweet enough for me.

The next to last time I made it, I accidentally forgot the sugar altogether, and made an exciting discovery . . . not having any sugar at all in it opens it up to more variations.  So this last time, I purposely did not put any sugar in it.

Now I have a sugar-free dessert that consists of milk, eggs, and tapioca starch.  As a “pudding”, it is probably too bland for words, but the nourishment contained therein makes it the perfect foil for adding a little something that tickles your fancy – maybe even different each time – to keep the “romance” alive!

In addition to the incredible variety of things to add, it serves as a foil for a small bit of our fave gelato.  I’ve taken to using about three parts tapioca pudding to one part gelato and mixing it about.  Et voilá – I have a creamy bit of dessert that is much lower in calories, and is not so sweet, as would be the straight gelato.  I usually add coconut, and maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon or instant coffee granules, and come up with something really delicious.

There are many variations of “dessert” possibilities, but when my tummy complains of the lateness of the lunch hour, I’ve learned that a small scoop of the tapioca pudding, mixed with a tablespoon (or even less) of peanut butter, does wonders for my disposition!

Again – a sprinkle of cinnamon, apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice, or anything else that appeals to you will enhance the enjoyment of this quick fix for tummy rumblings.

Needless to say, a bit of fruit and/or nuts added in, or eaten separately, would not go amiss.

Tapioca – I’m glad I made your acquaintance!


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The Arizona Trail

Photo purloined from the net.

The Arizona Trail

We had heard of it, but hadn’t really paid a lot of attention to it.  A couple of nights ago, our local PBS station played a short feature about it, and we were hooked.

There are supposed to be places where one can drive up and hop on the trail and walk as far as desired.  We think we might be able to do a few steps here and there, so are going to track down information about this possibility.

If anyone reading this has any information at all about The Arizona Trail, please leave it in the comments section.  We will treasure every word.

Many thanks.  ;->

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Olive Omelette

On the inside were mushrooms, onions, and extra sharp Cheddar cheese.  It was a good thing that I had my iPhone at the ready, because this baby disappeared right before my very eyes.

The one-week report on the cataract surgery is that he has 20/20 vision in his left eye.  The right eye is scheduled for mid-August, and he is very much looking forward to it.

For those of you who have not had cataract surgery, I will pass along a small tidbit that surprised us.  The fixed eye is now dominant, and the damaged cornea over the other eye has little effect on the quality of sight.  It’s as if there is no other eye.  Apparently the brain takes over to make it possible to function perfectly well in this manner.

And, just as everyone had shared, the operation itself was almost a non-event.  He vaguely remembers a few sketchy events, but even though he was awake, any details of the 15-minute procedure were gone upon completion of the event.

Funny story . . . Trying out his new eye for the first time with his camera, DH was horrified to find that there was something terribly wrong with either his camera itself, or the viewfinder.  I looked through it, and it looked fine to me.  You guessed it – he had looked through it with the unfixed eye out of habit!

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One Down; One to Go

This was taken right after we got home, and while he was eating a mushroom, onion, cheese omelette with many toppings – photo upcoming.  It wasn’t long until the anesthetic wore off, and he was in misery with a horrific headache until three the next morning.

We’re just home from the 24-hour follow-up visit, and, indeed, there had been a huge jump in pressure in that eye.  I don’t know the scale, but at the follow-up visit, it was still 30, even after the pain had subsided after 18 hours, which is apparently quite high, even this morning.

Some glaucoma eyedrops, and the instructions to do it again at nine tonight, and every twelve hours going forward, promised an end to that pressure and pain.

Appointment for the right eye will be in a few weeks, so we get to start all over, but this time with a bit more knowledge.


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Special Spinach

There was still a smidge of fresh spinach lurking in the bottom of the package, so I left a bit of the bacon grease in the frying pan and added the spinach.  It cooked beautifully, making a bit of its own “gravy”.  I rewarded it with a bit of gorgonzola cheese, and a crumbled strip of the original bacon.

It made a big hit at the brunch table.

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Pick-up Sticks Pizza

I was feeling wild and crazy, so I sliced the mozzarella cheese into sticks instead of shredding it!  I didn’t see any difference in the final result of the pizza itself, and it was a whole lot easier than shredding it on the grater gizmo.

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