Category Archives: Gastronomy

Accidental Cake

Happy Halloween!  I was organizing my spices and shelves and saw that I had some ingredients that I wanted to use up so I thought I’d document how I made a cake for the first time in my life completely UNINTENTIONALLY!  I tried to read the instructions, but just didn’t have the patience to do it their way, so….

I put virgin coconut oil in a cake pan. Manually mixed 3 packages of cinnamon muffin mix, added (I don’t really measure, because I”m Italian) about 5 teaspoons of extra white flour, 3 jumbo eggs, one cup of milk, a few teaspoons of cinnamon, a few packages of chocolate chip oatmeal. Baked at 400 degrees for 16 minutes. I took this picture and then I sprinkled a little more cinnamon on top and applied vanilla icing on each piece individually.

The muffin-ish cake is amazing!  It’s not even over-the-top sweet, but the moisture and thickness is divine.  I’m sure I could probably not have this kind of luck the rest of my life, but it was great to use up those ingredients and at least for now we can enjoy something very tasty for the holiday.

20141031 JAH 208 20141031 JAH 205 20141031 JAH 202

2013 Thanksgiving Dinner

My daughter prepared a mostly vegan meal the day after thanksgiving, which was more convenient for everyone who was not hanging out with their in-laws on Thanksgiving Day this year, which also would have been my father’s birthday.

I paid for the groceries and Alexandra did a lot of the work, with Rob’s help, especially cleaning up.  My daughter featured this on her blog prominently and was happy to mention that none of the family or friends who also were able to partake even asked where the meat was because it was so fulfilling and tasty, despite being very healthy.


Approaching Vegetarianism

Even before I started only being able to eat so little due to the sleeve surgery, I had toyed with the idea and had avoided the most bone-exposed eating for a long time.  In my twenties I even went eight years without eating red meat or pork (only poultry and a little fish), but definitely gained a lot of weight.

Life is different now.  I’ve learned that many smart people (like Einstein) became vegeterian in their later years.  I’ve seen lots of documentaries and less biased reports about the the health benefits of a much smaller amount of meat consumption and I really like the taste and texture of (usually cooked) vegetables.  I find them easier to digest.  I’m still not convinced I should not have dairy or eggs, but I do think we can humanely treat farm animals that yield us these products.  World sustainability is important, and also getting nutrients in the small amount of food I’m able to eat is important to me as I am no longer required to be on many medications.  It helps that my daughter and her fiance live and work in Berkeley, where the slow food movement was founded, and that they often have vegan weekends and/or go on raw food forays.  They don’t use microwaves or have many of the things that my daughter enjoyed eating very much growing up.  She’s always liked a wonderful variety of cuisines, but her tastes have become even more exotic and experimental, yet still prudent and wise.

Juicing – Not Just a New Year’s Resolution

I think I’m going to start using my blender a lot more.  I saw a documentary (actually I’ve watched many over the past several months, including Farmageddon, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, etc.) on juicing VEGETABLES (not so much fruit) which makes total sense.  Mostly they suggested juicing dark green vegetables like kale (which I love) and cucumber.  Fortunately I like spinach, but really love broccoli, brussel sprouts and other deep, dark vegetables, although not so much lettuce.  I know it doesn’t sound all that tasty, but I’m sure it could be made better or used as  a base for something else.  It also takes care, for the most part, of making sure that I don’t have high sugar/carb intake so long as I don’t use too many carrots and other vegetables that are high in fructose.  I now understand much better why it is that I have to take so many vitamins with my drastically reduced food intake since my gastric sleeve surgery.  If I don’t get the proper nutrition from the small amounts I eat, of course, I will potentially suffer deficiencies.  I’m very serious about this kind of attack on mother nature, as they put it in the documentary, so this is very inspirational for me.  I’m also seeing this as a potential way of avoiding the SPOILAGE of so many fresh vegetables that I’ve bought since 2012 was the first time in my life I started shopping for only one person, although more and more I’m hearing that even frozen vegetables retain a lot of their vitamins.  Still, I could buy farmers market vegetables and juice them, even if I froze them in my own containers until I was ready to use them, that would still be better than buying processed crap.  I am glad to buy some processed crap that I can eat in small quantities, but I’m still going to keep that for the convenience of brown-bagging to work, for example, and not a regular part of my diet.


My Yorkie Monte got a stimulating two mile round trip walk to BART station this morning, that lucky dog.  Bobby joined me and made the walk much more interesting.  We’re thinking about dressing the dog  up as an ewok for a dog costume contest in Alameda if not too rainy on Halloween.

I wish I was with my friend Rick at Sanity rally in DC; I had my moment on Colbert once, though.  See the link on the contents here.

I’m excited about the permaculture yield from backyard that Bobby already orchestrated.  We worked pretty hard on it (more him than me).

I gave mom a lesson in the content management system called WordPress, and she seems to have it down.  She is going to help me with the genealogy site.

Spoke t my old high school friend  Jan today.  She married my other high school friend Mike and they live in Colorado.  Bobby and I are going to visit there for the holidays, so I will see them in Fort Collins, north of Denver.  She told me to be prepared for some really cold weather, but probably not as cold as New York.

I’m very surprised Christina Aguilera is already divorcing, and more surprised that I care. Love her pipes.  Supposedly she was going out with the lesbian DJ that Lindsay Lohan was seeing before rehab (again).

Auguri to Celine Dion on her twin boys. My favorites divas never have girls!  Very cool gesture that Celine named one of her sons after Nelson Mandela, who she met.

Had a great polyglot dinner and art discussion at Tropisueno with friends on Yerba Buena Lane last night before we went to the Badass Bear-aoke at Deco Lounge.

Oprah touring Yosemite is inspiring me to make concrete plans. We’re seeing Grand Canyon in 7 days!

Phoenix Phurfest 2010

Some of us did the Dining for Life at Alexi’s Grill in downtown Phoenix Thursday night.

I got a nice tan at the pool parties at the hotel, saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones.  I got to speak a little Italian, Spanish and ASL (something I’m definitely an extreme amateur in).  I really like the dry heat and climate of Phoenix, not to mention the wonderful topography that is visible from almost every horizon.

The luau they we had was amazing with authentic dancers and a fire/sword tosser.  The music gave me chills and the dancers were stunning.  Unfortunately it started to get dark toward the end of the video, but I’m so glad I got the video footage that I got.  The (authentic?) and exotic buffet was awesome and I got to wear my barely ever-used Hawaiian shirt.

Also see my blog on going to Sedona with my niece to see my uncle.