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Robert’s Ball

20 Feb

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch

I know.  I was swearing off recipes and now they come flooding in.  And your first question might be why I named this recipe as I did.  Because I want it to go viral.  Duh!

This is actually a recipe for energy balls which my friend, Robert, shared with me.  And as you will see from the recipe, Robert is a man who likes choices.



3 cups (dry) oatmeal (I used the old-fashioned oats)

1 cup unsweetened shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

1 cup peanut butter (can substitute almond butter)

1 cup any kind of chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup dried fruit (I like cranberries, blueberries or cherries) (optional)

1 dark chocolate bar (optional)

1/2 cup agave or honey

1 cup melted coconut oil (optional)

1 t vanilla

1 t cinnamon (optional)

1 ripe banana (optional)


You could melt the coconut oil peanut butter, and chocolate in a double boiler.  Or you can just use chocolate pieces, leave out the coconut oil, and skip the melting step.  (Robert!  Take a stand!)

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Robert’s directions say half an hour but that’s not nearly enough time to obsess over whether you left out or put in the correct amount of optional ingredients, which are over half the recipe.

One chilled (the ingredients, not you) roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.  If you have trouble forming balls periodically wet your hands.


I used a gluten free granola that had all sorts of stuff in it because I had that in the house.  Be careful, if you’re on a gluten free diet, about the oatmeal.  Oatmeal is not always gluten free.  Make sure the brand you purchase specifies.

I used almond butter because I generally don’t eat peanuts.  I didn’t have any chocolate bar or chocolate pieces in the house so I added some cocoa powder.  It worked beautifully.  I didn’t add vanilla, which can now be listed as optional.  Nor did I use cinnamon or a banana.  The earth continued to spin on its axis.

I added some raisins to mine.  Robert thinks that raisins are pathetic.  It’s like discussing religion with that man when you start talking about his balls!  Did I say that out loud?  Whatever.

Loveya – The Grandma

Cabbage Soup Magic

15 Jan

“I decided I’ll never get down to my original weight and I’m OK with that.  After all, 7 pounds 6 ounces just isn’t reasonable.”  Malcolm West

I know.  I said I wasn’t going to do this recipe thing and then here I go!  Is there no one you can trust.

But I have a reason.  (Don’t they all!)  Someone sent me this cabbage soup recipe.  You know the one where all you eat is this cabbage soup and you loose a ton of weight but you can’t go out in public because of the flatulence.  Well I took this recipe and left out some of her ingredients, namely the red pepper flakes and cayenne, and added some sun-dried tomato hummus that I got at HyVee from their hummus bar.

Humor me.  There is such a thing as a hummus bar.  Not a good bar to get picked up in unless it’s by another hummus lover.  On second thought…



2-3 T olive oil, I used grape seed because that’s what I had on hand

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

1 cup celery, onion, and carrot, diced – that’s a cup of each

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced (that means chopped small)

4 cups chicken or veggie broth

14 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 t oregano

1 t basil

1 t salt

1 to 2 T sun-dried tomato hummus


Heat oil in large pot and sauté celery, onion, carrot and green pepper until slightly soft.  Give it about 3 to 5 minutes

Stir in garlic then add broth, tomatoes, and cabbage.  Bring to boil and reduce heat.  Simmer until cabbage is tenderish.  Stir in seasonings, taste, and adjust seasonings.

What about the hummus, you might be asking.  I actually put the 1 to 2 T in the bottom of my soup bowl just before I ladled the hot soup into the bowl.  Then I mixed it in and enjoyed a cabbage soup that I could actually eat more than once a day without invoking divine assistance.

Did you notice the square bowl in the picture?  That was a gift to me after I got rid of my boring, blue bowls that I’ve been using for years because I owned them.  Not a great reason to continue to live with something, a fact I learned from the book about creating a tidy house that I wrote about a few bog entries ago.  Pay attention!

Great thing about a square bowl is that you can drink the last few drops of soup from the corner of the bowl, a feat not possible with a round bowl, which should need no explanation after all the modern math we were exposed to.

Loveya – The Grandma


Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

22 Nov

“I don’t even butter my bread.  I consider that cooking.”  Katherine Cebrian

As I approach the golden years (actually, I’m sloshing through them right now) I’m less enamored by cooking.  A conservative estimate of the number of meals I’ve prepared lands somewhere in the 45,000 range. I was never a mom who relied on fast food.  One point for my team.

But now I’m searching for easier ways to nourish my body without morphing into a serial killer wielding a cast iron pan.  Enter raw foods, my Ninja, and my Vitamix.  I am one happy camper and the world is safe from grandma run amok.

My breakfasts now consist almost entirely (unless someone is taking me out for breakfast and buying) of smoothies made in my Vitamix.  Lunch is usually a salad topped with goodies that are chopped with the assist of my Ninja.  No, I don’t have a masked man jumping around the kitchen chopping veggies.  The Ninja is the greatest, in my opinion, little kitchen appliance second only to the Vitamix, which would then make it the second greatest.  Maybe I shouldn’t have quit coffee, ya think?

Speaking of the Ninja – the model I bought a number of years ago, with the little motor thing on top, was around $40.  Prices have gone up but there are sales to be found.  Also, over the years, and with almost constant use, the little guy is functioning as good as ever, which is more than I can say about …  Strike that.



OK.  I got a picture into this post.  Are you all happy now?  It’s not like you can’t visualize a chocolate smoothie in a glass.  And look at how that straw stands straight up.  But on to the recipe.


1 large frozen banana

1 cup almond milk, cold

2 T almond butter (like peanut butter but made with almonds)

2 T cocoa powder

1 T chia seeds

1 T flax seeds

2 pitted medjool dates

2 large kale leaves


Throw everything into your Vitamix or blender and whip it good!


Right now you’re probably saying, “Does that wacko know how much a Vitamix costs?”  Right.  I also know how much all those pairs of earrings that you never wear, and those crappy food snacks…. Well, you get the picture.  We’re talking about your body, your health, your feeling of well-being, and priorities.  Anyone want to buy about a dozen pair of earrings that I never wear?  We’re also talking progress, not perfection!


The Grandma


With A Vengeance

19 Nov

“My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”  Alfred Lord Tennyson

The above quote has nothing to do with cooking or recipes or today’s recipe which is for a mustard vinaigrette.  I liked the quote, however, (as I was looking up a suitable quote about strength) because whenever someone asks me why something works out for me I tell them it’s because my heart is pure.  Chortles follow my announcement.  Who needs friends!

The strength part of this entry is because I’m FINALLY back on track with my eating.  And as the title says, it’s with a vengeance.  And so I have a plethora of recipes to share, along with an occasional picture in case you’ve been living in solitary confinement eating gruel and can’t evasion what a certain food might look like.

Needless to say, which is one of my least favorite sayings, there will NOT be a picture with this entry.  It’s salad dressing.  It’s delicious, but you’re not going to get that from a picture.  Deal with it.

I love this dressing because:  it’s easy, it’s fast, it’s comparatively nutritious, and it’s been delicious on every salad I’ve eaten in the last week.  So I imagine it’s time to share the recipe.


1 T mustard, dijon or ground, I used ground

1 T olive or flax oil

1 t agave

1 clove garlic minced or pressed

1 T sherry vinegar – used some white balsamic which I had on hand

Fresh ground black pepper to taste


Put everything into a bowl and whisk it until it looks like salad dressing.  Pour it over your salad.  Eat.

Yes, you may double or triple this concoction if you’re dressing for a large salad and not at home alone, again, eating for one.  What’s with that?  Is it something I said?  Is it my cooking?  At any rate, while I obsess about my life and blow this minor issue into a full-sized pity party feel free to whip up a batch of mustard vinaigrette and fill your body with raw ingredients that will make you even more lovely.


The Grandma


Cookie Surprise

24 Mar

“Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.”  Wendell Berry

The surprise about these cookies is that even after you tell people that they are gluten, dairy, and egg free they still like them.  These cookies could also be sugar free but I just couldn’t resist throwing in a few chocolate chips.  My bad.


2 bananas, mashed

1/3 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup almond butter – peanut butter, but made with almonds, about 1/2 jar

1/2 t baking soda

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 apple, finely diced, or finally diced

1/3 cup coconut milk

1 T cinnamon

1/3 cup chocolate chips

DISTRUCTIONS:  Preheat oven to 370 degrees.  Mash banana in bowl and add the coconut flour, baking soda and almond butter.  Mix well.

Chop walnuts and apple to a very fine dice and add them to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.  

Drop by tablespoon full onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Flatten into a cookie shape with a frosting spreader, knife, or other implement.  These cookies don’t spread so you want them to get into their final shape before baking.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, turning the cookie sheet half way through the process.  These cookies seemed a little too moist for me so I placed them into my dehydrator for about an hour.  Otherwise you can let them out to air dry or eat them moist.  I love choices!


Happy cookies moments before their demise

Fun part – I was out of baking soda but remembered that I had a small glass of it in my bathroom medicine cabinet that I occasionally use to brush my teeth.  Went into the bathroom with a 1/2 teaspoon measure, walked back into the kitchen and dumped the baking soda into the bowl.  

My husband happened to be sitting in the kitchen.  “Did you just get something out of the bathroom and dump it into the cookie dough,” he asked.  I just smiled at him.  More for me!

Loveya – The Grandma

Caesar Salad Dressing

22 Mar

“Fight apathy.  Or don’t.”  Graffito

Had a taste for Caesar salad dressing and I’m really into making my own.  Fortunately, I have a recipe and a blender.  That’s about all you need besides the ingredients.

But all did not go well.  I did end up with my dressing but it took a rather circuitous path to get to it.  And a bit of dressing on the cabinets, the front of my clothes, and on the copy of the recipe.  Note:  Make sure the blender (Vita Mix) is set on its lowest speed if you’re going to flick it on and quickly blend in something that you initially forgot to add. 


Recipe after blender mishap


Juice of two lemons

1 egg

6 anchovy filets

1 T worcestershire sauce

1 t chopped canned chipotle peppers

2 cloves garlic (I used one.  It was large)


1 cup olive oil

DISTRUCTIONS:  Place all of the ingredients except the olive oil into the blender and puree.  Slowly drizzle the oil into the blender.  Make sure the blender is running.  I take nothing for granted.

That’s it.  So why are you paying exorbitant prices for Caesar’s dressing that probably has unpronounceable ingredients in it!

THE REST OF THE STORY – The original recipe calls for 1 t canned chipotle pepper, which I left out in honor of my husband, Mike.  He doesn’t do spice.  The solution was to pour half of the mixture into a jar and then add the chipotle to the second half.  The second half was for me.


Into the jar!

This worked well.  I was about to pour my half of the dressing into a second jar when I noticed my new, unopened bottle of worcestershire sauce on the counter.  Yes, I forgot to add it.  It was then that I decided to add it and flick the blender on for just a few seconds without checking what speed the blender was set.  The rest is history.  I got to wipe down the front of my cabinets along with a multitude of other surfaces.  Looks good!

Loveya – The Grandma

Beet Salad

4 Mar

“It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  W. Edwards Deming

Side note.  Got a call from one of my sons this morning.  He recommended a book that I might find helpful.  It’s about avoiding Alzheimer’s.  Pause for thought.

Todays recipe has to do with fermented food.  When visiting with a group and sharing something I’d heard about the benefits of eating fermented food, one of the women made a face as if she were wearing a tight girdle and said she didn’t see how anyone could eat anything fermented.  “Isn’t that food that’s rotten,” she asked.

I asked her if she likes sauerkraut, and of course, she said she loves it.  Also pickles and yogurt, but not together.  Bingo!

Here is a simple and delicious recipe to get fermented foods into your diet.  Look up the benefits on Google.  You’ll be amazed and delighted and just chomping at the bit to eat a bunch of fermented foods everyday.

Warning.  Yogurt with fruit already in it is crap.  Did I day that out loud?!  Too much sugar.  Buy plain yogurt, put on your big girl/boy pants, and put your own fresh fruit into the yogurt.  The microbes in your body that are hungry for such nourishment will thank you.


Roasted beets – organic, roasted beets available at Costco.  You don’t even have to do the work


Olive oil

DISTRUCTIONS:  Roast beets if you bought them fresh.  DO NOT USE CANNED BEETS.  Beets are easily roasted by placing them into parchment paper (sans greens) and then into foil with about a tablespoon or two of water.  Place in oven, 400 degrees, for one hour.  Allow the package to cool and then slip the peels off of the beets.

Chop the beets into chunks and place into your Ninja food chopper.  Throw in some sauerkraut (Bubbies is the best) along with a tablespoon or two of sauerkraut juice from the jar.  Chop it.  Place it in a bowl.  Stir in a bit of olive oil.

beet salad

Yes, I sprinkled a bit of chopped parsley on top for color.

Let me assure you that everyone who’s tasted this salad has nothing but praise for it.  I usually serve a small serving over baby greens.  Sometimes I add some other little salad, such as the old stand-by, black bean and corn with olive oil and lime juice salad.  

Feed your microbes.  Live long and prosper!

Loveya – The Grandma