May 4th, 2024

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice at the end of hostilities.  It has been 822 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • This week I started my physical therapy for my arthritic hands. I have to do 2 sets of seven exercises twice a day. I also have to wear these copper compression gloves at night to reduce swelling. So far so good although some of the exercises are or get a little painful.
    • This week, we started our new vertical garden. several years ago, I attempted a pallet garden. It was not a success. I have higher hopes for this one as there is a greater application of science. Keep your fingers crossed!
    • I learned a new wonderful urban legend about Earnest Hemingway this week. As the story goes. Hemingway was drinking with his writer buddies in the bar of the Algonquin Hotel. He was challenged or proposed, depending upon what version you hear, to a $10 bet to write a novel in just 6 words. Hemingway took the bet and jotted down the following on a napkin and passed it around the table collecting his winnings:  “For Sale: baby shoes.  never worn.” I don’t know. It may be total bullshit but I like it.
    • You can find out all about today’s history here.

This week’s Website Update: 

    • I came up with a new version of a dish I had tried before. This time it turned out very tasty. I hope you might try my Shepards Pie v2.
    • The Home Page quote this week comes from a touching story about Franz Kafka and a little girl he met in Berlin Park. The unmarried and childless Kafka was walking in the park when he met a little girl crying over a lost doll. Please find and read the story. The quote is from the end: “Everything you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way.”  .

Writing, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:  

    • The 2 bonsai trees I started last week are still alive!
    • I began a repair on a Tulip stained glass piece I made for my granddaughter some time ago. It got dropped and some of the panels got broken.


    • Accidental disparagement or perhaps conversational disparagement? This is what happens when you inadvertently enjoy arrogance without regard to your audience. Some would say “Political Correctness” is the alternative but even that can be done condescendingly if not truly felt. When I say, “ This is good”, I am also saying everyone should find this good, which may be presumptuous and untrue. A better way is, “ I really enjoy this.” That removes the inadvertent negative comparison- if you don’t find this good you must not be “normal”.  We don’t even think about it. One of my favorites is, “It’s not rocket science.” What we should say is something like, “I never have trouble doing that.” Or  “Doing this always seems easy for me”. That way you are avoiding making someone feel like a moron when all you want to convey is that is doable. I guess the message is, that your words count, so they should count towards what you really mean.

Music Update:  

Here is some music that has crossed my path this week that I wanted to share with you.

For your listening pleasure:  This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Tears for Fears — Everybody Wants to Rule the World    I think that this was one of the first records we got from ur Coupon money in Va. When the kids were little they would go with me on Sunday’s to do grocery shopping. This ritual began with coups clipping from the Sunday mewspaper all the couples we thought we could use. The grocery store we shopped at was great for 2 reasons. First, they totaled up the coupons after the sale and gave us back the cash. The second reason was they had a used record store right next door. This one is from their, “Songs from the Big Chair” released in 1985.
    • Tom PettyYou Don’t Know What It’s Like — This just a great sone from his “Wildflowers” album released in 1994.
    • Billy Joel – Only the Good Die Young — I always love the song even if I disagreed with the title! This is from his icon release from 1977, “The Stranger”.
    • The Eagles —  I Can’t Tell You Why — I loved Timothy B. Schmit .from back when he was paying base and singing with Poco. This is just a pretty song. This was released on their, “The Long Run” album in 1979.
    • Boz Scaggs — Lowdown —  Boz is another special player who I have followed all along.  A founding member of the Steve Miller band who left when SMB took a sharp turn into commercial music.  This one is from his “ Silk Degrees” album released in 1979. There is an very cool version of this song on You Tube featuring Micheal MacDonald and Donald Fagan. Check it out.
    • Supertramp — Logical Song — This one is a favorite of mine from their, “ Breakfast in America” album released in 1979.     

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!

My Pico de Gallo

Up to now I always purchased Pico de Gallo for 2 reasons – 1. I didn’t much care what was in my food as long as it tasted good; and 2, I didn’t consume enough Mexican food to keep it around. Neither of those reasons is true now. This salsa fresco is good on anything Mexican and probably lots of other things too.







5 Roma Tomatoes, diced fine

1/2 cup Tamed jalapeño. diced fine

1/2 yellow onion. diced fine

1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped fine

1 tsp of Trader Joe’s Chili Lime spice

1 lime, zest and juice

1 Tbs key lime juice

Salt substitute and coarse ground pepper

Additional options – mangos, bell peppers, cucumber, or peaches



    1. Prep all ingredients.
    2. Combine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.
    3. Transfer to a re-sealable container and refrigerate overnight.
    4. Taste and adjust with salt substitute and coarse ground pepper as needed.

Carne Piranha with Farofa

I had never heard of Pichada roasts until I started using Wild Fork. So I started searching for recipes and discovered a whole new world of Brazilian food.  Of course, I had to adjust to my tastes but it’s pretty close to traditional






2.5 lbs of Picanha

2 Tbs of Brazilian Sofrito

lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Brazilian Sofrito:

1/4 onion

2 Tbs minced garlic

1 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs key lime juice

1/4 tsp mustard powder

1/2 cup Cilantro chopped fine

For the Farofa:

2 strips of good smoked bacon

1 cup of toasted cassava flour (or regular flour but start with less than 3/4 cup-if needed add more)

2 Tbs unsalted butter substitute

1/2 onion sliced or diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tbs of fresh cilantro chopped

1 tsp Trader Joe’s Chili Lime spice

4 whole eggs

salt substitute and pepper to taste


    1. Allow Picanha to come to room temperature before cutting into steaks
    2. Add sofrito ingredients to a blender and pulse till you get a chunky paste. In a small bowl, mix the sofrito, mustard, cilantro, key lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil as needed. Set aside.
    3. Light grill on high.
    4. Cut the meat in the same direction as the fibers (with the grain from wide end to small end) into 4 steaks.
    5. Season the steaks with salt substitute and lemon pepper, then marinade the steaks in the sofrito mixture for at least 15 minutes Brazilians usually skewer the steaks for grilling but you don’t have to do that.
    6. Set up the grill for indirect cooking by turning off 2 burners or moving all your charcoal to the back. Add the steaks on the oiled grate farthest from the remaining burners or charcoal. Grill the steaks for 20-25 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes on all sides until the internal temp indicates you have achieved the level of doneness that you prefer.
    7. Remove the steaks from the grill, and let them rest for 5 mins, While the steaks are resting make the Farofa.
    8. Add the bacon to a cold skillet, and heat up over medium heat. When the fat from the bacon begins to melt, add 1 Tbs of butter substitute. when the bacon begins to fry, add the second tbsp of butter substitute.
    9. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until the onions are transparent, about 2 minutes then add the garlic and cook till golden.
    10. Mix in the flour and let it toast stirring constantly.
    11. Add the eggs to the pan, and scramble them gently.
    12. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chili lime spice, and cilantro, and stir to combine.
    13. Taste and season Farofa with salt substitute and pepper. as needed,
    14. Slice the steaks across the grain into 1-inch thick slices.
    15. Serve hot with the farofa.



Ever since I saw the movie, I have wanted to make this dish. I guess I hung back because I am not a huge fan of eggplant. But I finally took the plunge and “Look Mom! No Eggplant(we don’t need no stinking eggplant!)”. A lot of slicing but I think the results work well.




1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

½ onion, chopped

¼ cup minced garlic

1 Tbs capers, drained

¾ cup water

1Tbs olive oil

3 small to medium beets, peeled, trimmed, and very thinly sliced

3 zucchini, trimmed and very thinly sliced

3 yellow squash, trimmed and very thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced

1 tsp fresh or dried thyme leaves, or to taste

salt substitute and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Spread tomato paste onto the bottom of a 10-inch square or round baking dish. Sprinkle with capers, onion, and garlic. Stir in water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange alternating slices of beets, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap slices a little to display colors.
  5. Spray the top of the dish with olive oil spray; season with salt substitute and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes.
  7. If you would like the top to be a bit browner or crispier, remove the parchment paper, switch to broil and watch closely for the color changes you want.


Sausage Stuffed Portobellos

This variation on my Crab Stuff Portobello recipe also came to me in a dream. Its very tasty and less bad for you too. 









6 Portobello mushrooms, washed and dried

1/2 cup Pablano chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Tajin Classic Seasoning

1 Tbs roasted garlic, minced

1/2 cup Tamed Jalapeños, finely chopped

1 lbs.Turkey Breakfast Sausage)

2 Tbs key lime juice

1-2 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 egg, slightly beaten

1-2 Tbs hot sauce (optional)

1/2 tsp each Salt substitute and coarse ground pepper

2 Tbs unsalted butter substitute, melted

Lemon wedges and thinly sliced scallions for garnish.



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish with cooking oil and set aside.
  2. Place the turkey sausage in a large skillet and season with Tajin, and garlic powder. Brown sausage and set aside on paper towels to drain.
  3. Add the onions, celery, and poblanos, and tamed jalapeño peppers. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, gently mix the cooled vegetables into the cooled sausage and toss to combine. Add egg, key lime juice, Worcestershire, and hot sauce.  Add half of the Italian bread crumbs, the salt substitute, and pepper, and stir gently. Add more crumbs until the stuffing consistency is right, as needed.
  5. Wipe each portobello with olive oil. Stuff each mushroom with a mound about the same depth as the mushroom cap. 
  6. Place stuffed mushrooms into the prepared baking dish and place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and change oven setting to Broil.
  7. Brush each mushroom with melted butter and return to oven. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
  8. Serve hot with lemon wedges and scallions garnish.

Abuelo’s Mexican Meatloaf V.2

It’s important to back and update recipes as we learn things and as things change. Since V1, a family member developed at dairy intolerance and another can no longer handle as much salt. So I made some changes and everyone loved the results. Both versions are tasty!





½ cup panko or Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1 can Rotel Original, juices drained

1 can diced green chilies

1 can Old El Paso Green Chili Enchilada sauce

1 Tbs ground cumin

1 tsp each garlic and onion powder

2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Pablano pepper, seeded, deveined and diced

2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded, deveined and diced

1 sm-med onion, diced

1/4 cup Trader Joe’s corn salsa

1 lbs. lean ground beef

1 lbs. ground pork

1 cup cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese

Salt substitute and pepper to taste

Fresh Cilantro, chopped and/or sliced green onions


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl combine the meats, egg, panko, Rotel, fresh and canned chilies, cumin, garlic, corn salsa, and onions. Mix it all together but do not overwork the mixture.
    3. In a 9×17 baking dish. form the mixture into a loaf shape. Bake on a middle rack, for ~1 hour. The internal temp should be ~160 degrees.
    4. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour the green chili enchilada sauce evenly over the entire top. Return to oven for ~15 minutes).
    5. Remove meatloaf from oven again and let rest for ~10 minutes. Plate and keep warm dairy-intolerant portions with sauce spooned on top. Sprinkle the remaining portion with cheese and return to the oven to melt the cheese. Serve by spooning sauce over slices.
    6. Garnish with Cilantro and/or green onions

Serve salsa on the side with rice and refried beans. Or we like it with just plain old mashed taters too.

April 13th, 2023 
“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 406 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

  • Glancing back is not always very flattering. Focusing on the past can just keep you from having a good now or a great tomorrow. But failing to look over your shoulder every once in and while as you move through this life might mean you miss some good lessons. I was looking back over the past couple of months of UJT Updates and came to apologize for what must have felt like one long whine. Not only is it not something I desire to do it’s also misleading. I have NO complaints! Zero! My life has had bumps and failures but those pale in comparison to the fun I have had and am having every day. So please forget and forgive me for any morose moments that I might have over-shared.
  • This is my favorite time of year. My wisteria is in bloom in our backyard and permeating the world with a sweet scent celebrating another spring. I enjoy just sitting out there, working on my stained glass project, listening to the waterfall, and warming in the spring air under the umbrella. Soon m beloved Jacaranda will be coloring the skies all over southern California. Peace.  
  • Murphy’s pictures from college seem to demonstrate that he is learning, happy and healthy. He has a new smile too. Seems he is like every other college kid, having fun is just part of the deal.
  • This week I watched the final season of Picard. I really enjoyed it. They brought back a number of the characters from the days when Picard was Captain of the Enterprise, every one aged .. even Data! But there were also a lot of pretty poignant moments where we get a glimpse into one possible future of our species and into the end of Jean-Luc’s life. Maybe because I look back on more life than I can reasonably see in my future, it was somehow comforting.
  • April 13th is the 103rd day of 2023. Just 264 days till Christmas. On this day in 1699, the Sikh religion is formalized as the Khalsa – the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints – by Guru Gobind Singh in northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar; Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces, today in1861; On that same day, in 1870, the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.; Today in 1873, more than 60 to 150 black men are murdered in Colfax, Louisiana, while surrendering to a mob of former Confederate soldiers and members of the Ku Klux Klan; the Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson’s birth. today in 1943; Today in 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program Project MKUltra; Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field today in 1964; The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration today in 1976;  Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament today in 1997; Lucy Craft Laney, American founder of the first school for black children, the Haines Normal and Industrial School, Augusta, Georgia was born today in 1854; Today in 1866, Butch Cassidy, American criminal was born; Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1906; Today in 1919, Howard Keel, American actor and singer  was born; Born today in 1951, The E Street Band’s  Max Weinberg, American musician and bandleader; John A. Bennett was the last American soldier hanged by order of Courts Marshall for the rape and attempted murder of an 11yo girl in Austria today in 1961; And lastly, Johnnie Johnson, American rock and roll pianist and songwriter  passed away today in 2005.

This week’s Website Update:

  • A new Vocabulary Quiz !!!!!! 
  • Week two for our Musical Trivia Quiz 
  • This week I added a new recipe for you – Noodles McCannoff! Sooo good!. 
  • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Wole Soyinka,  “ Books and all forms of writing have always been objects of terror  to those who seek to suppress the truth.” 

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:

  • I finished the never-ending stained glass project this week. Still not painting yet but I am beginning my Ceramics class this week.
  • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.


  • This week’s CNN Good Stuff newsletter lead off with a very apropos point that bears repeating. Today, in every way that I can think of we humans seem to be in a “differences” frenzy. We are so focused on how we are different (followed closely by judging, unfortunately) that we overlook the things that are the same no matter what culture, creed or religion you happen to be. For example, all of us have some traditional way of celebrating spring or the end of winter; The return of the leaves and warm breezes. Some do it with song, religious practices or just holding hands together as we walk through the fields of this wonderful world we live in. Once you can focus on our similarities, our differences do not matter so much. Grab someone’s hand and walk into the springtime together as we humans have done for thousands of generations.

Music Update:
Another week of joy and music to share. Enjoy:
This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

  •  Al Stewart — On the Border — From the Vinyl!!!! This is a deeper cut from his 1976 release, ‘ Year of the Cat”. Peter White’s Spanish (acoustic) guitar is delicious! It reminds me of Paco De Lucia.
  • Sheryl Crow — I Know Why — This is just a beautiful song sung beautifully, from her Wildflowers album that I got from some fundraiser from Darrian’s school, released in 2005.
  • Venice — Thinking Out Loud — This is a beautiful deep cut from their Breakfast Buffett album of cover songs released in 2016. This one was written by Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge. These boys’ harmonies make my eyes misty.
  • The Derek Trucks Band – Chevrolet (LIVE) – This has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it. Some super sweet blues music from a new master of the craft. I hope you enjoy it too. This is a live version from their 2006 release, “Songlines”.
  •  Traffic – The Low Spark or High Heeled Boys – When this one came up on the rotation, (on my new speakers !!!), I realized we hadn’t featured this one few years on UJT Radio. The haunting melody and Steve Winwood’s high voice interweave as if by magic. I know in 1971 when I first heard this song I thought it was magic! This is also one of my friend, Mike Fallin’s favorite songs.
  • U2 — Where the Streets Have No Name — This is another song I have been missing! This is the song that introduced U2 to me. It still brings tears to my eyes when I hear it. This is from their “Joshua Tree” album released in 1987.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!

January 26th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 336 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

• We have lost so much recently. Jeff Beck’s and David Crosby’s music helped me remain true to myself and carried me through dark and happy times (which can be almost as dangerous as dark times). The good news is that they left their hearts and souls for us in their music. To me that is true immortality, leaving a legacy of beauty for others to enjoy long after we have passed – music, painting, art, planted trees and children. 

• The Prostate Adventure continues.  I got my 2nd MRI in the Soft Tissue Study done as well as my first radiation treatments this week. The drive is as long and painful as the procedure is not. I was in the treatment room for 17 minutes! 

  I sympathize with my fellow Californians north of us but celebrate the cause of their disaster. We have enjoyed the first sustained rainfall in months. I hope the reservoirs are refilled and that the mountains are buried in snow. Mother Nature keeps reminding us that for all our intentions this is still a desert. 

• January  26th is the 26th day of 2023! Just 341 days till Christmas! Today in 1837, the great state of  Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state; Governor of Massachusetts, John Albion Andrew receives permission from the Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent today in 1863; On this day in 1905, the world’s largest diamond ever, the Cullinan, which weighs 3,106.75 carats (0.621350 kg), is found at the Premier Mine near Pretoria in South Africa; Also that same day but in 1915, the Rocky Mountain National Park is established by an act of the U.S. Congress; The 41-acre (17 ha) Chain Island is listed for sale by the California State Lands Commission, with a minimum bid of $5,226 today in 1959; Today in 1998, on American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denies having had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky; Nadya Suleman (AKA Octomom) gives birth to the world’s first surviving octuplets. today in 2009.  Today in 2020, a Sikorsky S-76B flying from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport crashes in Calabasas, 30 miles west of Los Angeles, killing all nine people on board, including former five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryan; Iran hostage crisis: Douglas MacArthur, American general, Medal of Honor recipient was born today in 1880; Bessie Coleman, first woman lot of African and Native American heritage to be issued a pilots license was born today in 1892; Seán MacBride, Irish lawyer and politician, Irish Minister for External Affairs Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1904; Also born today but in 1911,  Polykarp Kusch, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate; Maria von Trapp, Austrian-American singe was born today in 1905: Bob Uecker, American baseball player, sportscaster and actor was born today in 1934; Today in 1951,David Briggs, Australian guitarist (Little River Band), songwriter, and producer was born;  Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian, actress, and talk show host born today in 1958: Born today in 1961,  Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player and coach; Nicolaus Otto, German engineer, invented the Internal combustion engine passed away today in 1891; Bear Bryant, American football player and coach died today in 1983; Today,  Barbara Hale (AKA Della Street from Perry Mason) American actress  passed away in 2017;  And lastly, we lost Kobe Bryant, American basketball player and his young daugher today in 2020.

Website Update:

This week: 

• Week 2 for our Vocabulary Quiz

• Last week for our Musical Trivia Quiz

• This week did a lot of cooking but didn’t add any new recipes. 

•The Home Page quote for this week seems to be a good  reflection of me. This one in comes from the late great Janis Joplin,  I am one of those regular weird people.”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:

•  I did some pond maintenance and yard prep for reseeding this week. So not much done in the Art dept.   

• I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.


I remember as a little boy, my Grandma let me pick out my new sneakers for school. I picked out red PF Flyers. They were so cool and worth every penny of the $4 they cost. But when I went to school, all the kids teased me about my new sneakers.  Ever since, I have suffered ‘new shoes’ anxiety until my shoes reach unremarkable used.  Strange huh? And another thing! What possesses people to carryon speaker calls in the stores or doctors office or DMV. I think it is just so rude!I don’t want hear what Jim-Bob’s wife thinks about his new fishing rod or her reminder to pick up a six-pack of PBR on the way home at full cell phone volume in Walmart. I just don’t get it. 

Music Update:

This week I am  celebrating my good fortune with some remarkable music that I hope you will enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

•   David Crosby  — Hero — This loss it me hard. I always felt a kindred spirt in The Coz. Even from the distance I could see he was a complicate mix of a human being. That golden voice and amazing songwriting made him a spectacular star in my galaxy growing up in the late 1960s and 70s. This my last favorite solo thing from him. It comes from his 1993 release, “Thousand Roads”. As always the music is superb but take the time to find and read the lyrics. I think might be the best description of how I felt about David Crosby, RIP… 

• Todd Rundgren — Bang on the Drum All Day    This is a great song that has made me smile every time I have heard since 1983, since his“The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect” album was released.  This one reminds me of my friend Heide! I didn’t meet her 1999 but I remember she even went to Senegal on vacation to “bang on her drum all day”. 

•   The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along the Watchtower  – It is said that Bob Dylan liked Jim’s cover of his song so much, he started to incorporate its phrasing in his live shows on his tour with The Band in their 1974 tour. From all reports, it was a great cover of a cover. I never got see Dylan and The Band play but I did see Jimi play this live in July of 1970 at the Miami Jai Alai Fronton (a great acoustic venue) just before I joined the Navy in August  He was found dead in a London hotel room a little less than a month later while I was in boot camp. This song comes from his “Electric Ladyland” album released in 1968. 

• The Doors — Soul Kitchen — This was a very special cut from their self-titled debut album released in 1967. Jim Morrison wrote the lyrics about a soul food restaurant called, Olivia’s” in Venice Beach, CA. He was always staying so late that they had to kick him out. During Vietnam, we were all seeing so many horrendous images with our dinners watching the evening news, that the pivotal like in Soul Kitchen took on a special meaning. “Learn to Forget..”.  It was a popular song with the deployed troops and was even featured in the Vietnam War scenes in Forest Gump when he saves Lt. Dan. 

• Greta Van Fleet — Your the One — This selection maybe too eclectic for some but there is something about this band that resonates in me. This one comes from their 2018 album called, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army ”. These boys are from Michigan and really seem like reincarnated Led Zeppelin. Not so much in this song but many others I sampled.

•   The Byrds — Turn! Turn! Turn! — Another of my all time favorite songs! The Byrds biggest hit released in 1965 as the title cut of their second album. The song was written by Pete Seeger in his 1950s adaptation from the 3rd chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes of the English version of the Bible. Jim McGuin (AKA Roger McGuin) and David Crosby harmonize so perfectly.  A beautiful, inspiring song.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!

Beef Stroganoff

Since I was a teen, I made this dish mostly with meatballs, It was cheap. relatively quick and very filling. I still like it today but time and money are not as a big a factor as they once were so in this version I have used braised chuck roast in stead of my trusty meatballs. We liked it a lot.




16 oz bag of extra wide egg noodles (for this dish I love Tagliatelle pasta noodles)
2 Tbs butter or alternative
2-3 lbs od good quality chuck roast
24 oz of fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced
1.5 Tbs oil
1.5 cup halved and thinly sliced white or yellow onion
4.5 tsp minced fresh garlic
3/4 tsp paprika
1 cup dry red wine (I like Sangiovese)
3 Tsp all-purpose flour
3 cup unsalted beef cooking stock
1.5 cup sour cream (we use the dairy free version sold at Trader Joe’s)
1.5 tsp Worcestershire
~ 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to the package directions, . When finished, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add salt substitute and coarse ground pepper to all sides of the meat. Heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium high heat. When the oil shimmers add beef. It should sizzle if the pan is hot enough. Brown all sides of the beef chunks- get a nice crust. When beef is browned. remove and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of your preferred oil to dutch oven and add onions and mushrooms to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and paprika.  Cook 1 minute.
  4. Deglaze the pan with wine and add beef stock; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  5. Cover Dutch Oven and place on the middle rack of the oven. Braise beef chunks for ~1 hour and 30 minutes (depends on thickness of chunks). When the meat is tender enough to slide a fork in easily, remove from oven and place on stove at low/medium. Remove chunks and cut into bite sized pieces.
  6. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom/onion mixture and stir until incorporated. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Remove pan from heat.
  7. Stir in Worcestershire, sour cream and mustard.
  8. Add braised chuck roast pieces to sauce; toss to coat.
  9. Spoon sauce and meat mixture over cooked noodles.
  10. Sprinkle evenly with additional chopped parsley

Just Gumbo

Getting ready for Fat Tuesday, I started looking for recipes and found this one. You can use comparable amounts of Crawfish or Shrimp. We have a member of our family that is allergic to shellfish so we add it after we have ladled out her portion. This makes a lot of Gumbo, Cher!.




  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds chicken skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 oz Andouille sausage
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup flour
  • Cajun Holy Trinity with da Pope: 1 medium onion dice; 1 medium green bell pepper diced and 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 sticks) ; 2 teaspoons minced garlic (da pope!)
  • ½ pound shrimp, mudbugs or crablegs (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning.
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon thyme fresh or dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 14- oz can tomatoes (or fresh, diced)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (sub with water)
  • 1 pound shrimp (peeled and de-veined) (optional)
2-4 cups chopped okra
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file
  • 2 green onions, chopped small
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley


  1. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch Cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove and chop into bite sized chunks.
  2. Cook sausage until browned, remove and set aside with chicken.
  3. Make your roux. Melt the butter and whisk in oil and flour until smooth. Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 20-30 minutes or until your roux turns a rich dark brown color – just like chocolate. Remove from stove and let it cool.
  4. Add Cajun trinity and da pope and cook for 8- 10 minutes until softened. Add roux stirring frequently until all are coated.
  5. Return chicken and sausage to the pan and mix. Add creole seasoning, paprika, thyme, bay leaves and let it cook for ~5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes and about 6 cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 45 – 50 minutes.
  7. Add okra for the last 15 minutes or so . until they are just tender.
  8. Stir in file powder, green onions, and chopped parsley.
  9. Set aside non-seafood portions.
  10. Add seafood, simmer for 5 more minutes until the shrimp are pink.
  11. Adjust thickness soup and flavor with broth or water and salt.