The Right Way to Steal a Recipe…

Don’t you hate it when people post on a recipe site what they did to change a recipe before they even try it out the right way first? Yeah, so do I.

Except when I do it.

I needed a dressing recipe for a tossed salad. Bottled dressing is full of things I’d prefer don’t enter my mouth: fake ingredients, preservatives, soybean oil… yuck! Making it at home takes only a few minutes, and I can use my homemade yogurt.

So I found a recipe online for a yogurt dressing. Right off the bat I knew I had to change it. Low-fat yogurt? Why? Why torture yourself eating that sour mess to save very few calories and fat? You need fat. Your hair will fall out if you don’t get enough. Do you want that to happen?

I didn’t think so.

Parsley. Again, why? That had to go too. Even if I kept it on hand, which I don’t because it has no reason to exist, it doesn’t really add much of anything to the flavor. Is it in there to help with your breath after eating the green onions? Because that’s a lost cause.

I kept everything else the same except I added two teaspoons of lemon juice to brighten it. Whatever that means. Mary Hunt suggested adding lemon to foods to brighten them at her blog on citrus:

Everything could stand a little brightening I guess, so I did.

It’s delicious. And since it’s basically yogurt instead of some science experiment in a bottle you can pour it over anything and everything. None of this measuring out a 2-tablepsoon serving. You can also use it as a dip for whatever you’re serving that’s dry or boring.

Not that you cook that way.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups yogurt
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Stir together. Refrigerate an hour before serving.

But whatever you do, don’t change the recipe without trying it this way first. Because that’s just wrong.




Robot Vacuums I Have Loved

I love my Neato robot vacuum. I’ll admit I named him.

Yes. Him. Rocky.

Rocky is actually the second (used/reconditioned) one we’ve had. The first I named Rosie after the robot on the Jetsons. Everyone who grew up watching the Jetsons wanted a robot. And a spaceship.

Anyway, Rosie, the vacuum, was wonderful. Yes, was. Unfortunately, Rosie has gone on to her reward.

I’ve never loved vacuuming, but even if you do (and I won’t believe you if you tell me that) I’ll assume you don’t have the patience to go over and over the same spot every day. That’s what it takes to get up the dirt. Stuff you see perching on top of the rug is not dirt. It’s camouflage for what’s lurking beneath. You vacuum a spot quickly, thinking you’re done, while the real enemy skulks at the base of your carpet fibers. Waiting. Just waiting.

Rosie would fill her dust bin (robot vacuums think in British English not American English) every time she ran. Every day. Now that’s dedication. No knocking off for a spot of tea in the middle of the job.

Rosie had a bit of bad luck with some water, so we got another (used) one. While Rosie was quiet and gentle, Rocky was loud and obnoxious. Then I realized Rocky came with some weird beater bar already installed that I’ve never seen the need of. Strange, extra parts that come with things quickly get stuck in a box under the bed in the spare room. Now Rocky sounds just like Rosie did. He’ll beep every once in a while, but for the most part he’s quiet.

He did get into trouble today. He rolled into the bathroom and tried to suck up the borax I put out for the ants. He tracked it everywhere. It was like having another dog in the house. Except his fur is on the inside and he doesn’t yap at squirrels. Also, unlike the dogs, Rocky cleans up after himself.

I think my husband’s a little obsessed with these vacuums because he decided Rocky needed a friend and bought a brand new Roly. Rolybot got confused easily. She never could find her way home when it was time to clock out for the day. I took her to visit my daughter. When I brought her home she just spun in circles. What’s up with that? Did she like it better over there and decided to throw a tantrum?

I pulled the plug. Don’t judge me. She already would do inconvenient things like wedge herself under the recliner and demand (yes, she talked) that I come rescue her. Now. Right now. She rolled up the side of things and tried to balance, too. Acrobatics. On my time. On top of being mouthy.

I’ve got enough trouble without being ordered about by the help.


Camp Nanowrimo

I haven’t had the best start to Camp Nanowrimo.

Life is like that sometimes. Especially my life. I’d been planning for weeks to work on a YA novel I’ve (barely) started: working title “Beyond” during Camp.

But I wasn’t feeling it. I was feeling a murder mystery.

Not literally.

So I switched over to one I’ve already started set in Galena, Illinois. But I wasn’t feeling that one either.

So I started on a new idea. The time is the present, but one of the characters is stuck in the days of the black and white film noir. His hero is Philip Marlowe. It’s told in first person by his girl Friday.

I love film noir. Femme fatale. Men in suits and fedoras, women in dresses with jaunty hats pinned just right to complete their ensemble.

But for this novel all I have is the germ of an idea, not a fully fleshed plot, so now it’s the third day of Camp and I’ve got a whopping 35 words done. I set a goal of 1,000 words a day, so by the end of today I should have 3,000.

I think I need some inspiration. Time to turn on a Bogie and Bacall flick.



My Crazy Blind Date Blog

Kindle has a publishing arm: Kindle Press. Their scouting program discovers which book are popular by posting the beginning of the book for readers to nominate their favorites. They use this information to offer publishing contracts.

My book My Crazy Blind Date Blog’s campaign is live as of today. I have 30 days for people to nominate my book. Here’s the link if you’d like to help me out:

My Crazy Blind Date Blog Cover

Thank you! 🙂

Time for Camp – Camp Nanowrimo that is

Seems a little early for camp, doesn’t it? April? But Camp Nano is a different kind of camp.

No canoeing, hiking, or swimming, over at Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) April 1st marks the beginning of online writing camp. They’ll be off and running for the whole month of April and repeat the experience in June.

And I’ll be joining them.

If you’ve ever wanted to write, but didn’t want to commit to the 50,000 word goal required in November, then Camp is a way to dip your toe in the writing lake. You set your goal, be it lines, words, and even hours editing.

The support you receive from fellow writers is what makes Camp different. Hop over to the site and have a look around.