While living in Portland, Oregon years ago I knew a waiter who drank tomato juice and beer in the morning. I think she thought everybody did.  She was from Canada. It was a new one on me. I did try it once however and it was good. Who would think tomato and beer? But we eat tomato pizza and beer. The acid from the tomato and the yeast from the beer team up nicely. Although I didn’t become a regular user, I also didn’t forget it, since it was novel to me.

So now here comes my experiment in the kitchen with tomato juice and beer. What can I do with these two ingredients to make them shine – together?

I used 4 ingredients:

1 can Bush Beer, chilled

V-8 Vegetable Juice, chilled

Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan cheese in a shaker

2-3 grape tomatoes with toothpicks

Using a tall glass filled (not over-filled) with ice, pour 1/2 beer and then 1/2 tomato juice about 3/4 inch from the top.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and watch it foam up just a bit.

Skewer a couple of grape tomatoes with a long toothpick and place over the top of the glass.


Just like that, so easy to make and easier to drink!

Notes: Go Veggie parmesan is a finer grain (almost powdery) than Follow Your Heart parmesan and works better with this cocktail because of it. The fine texture is what allows it to bubble up almost as if it had been broiled. I guess you could call it a “cold broil” effect.


Maple Syrup Shots

All you need is:

1 – a shot glass (sparkling clean)

2- a sugared rim

3- a shot of Grade A maple syrup, room temperature or chilled

I’ll have a “123”. That’s code for maple syrup absent the alcohol.

A maple shot please.

You mean…

Yes, maple syrup. Now that’s an ice-breaker that gets everybody talking.

Lots of people go to bars and taverns who don’t drink or who quit. Why not make them happy? Too much sugar in a shot? Not for me it isn’t. Let’s get the diabetics in on this developing debate.

But why? Why do we have to produce everything so that a diabetic can consume it? They drink alcohol; this is for those who don’t. And for those who do, who want something sweet without the alcohol for the purpose of prolonging their alcohol high.

Or let’s just get high on maple syrup. It must be real. One hundred percent from the tree sap.

Liquor companies attempt to make maple flavored spirits, but it never works. Put the maple syrup in the drink – on rocks or straight up, however you like. Not at the factory/distiller level, at the bar/restaurant/tavern level.

Add some non-dairy nog or creamer and you’re making the White Russian people envious. No bourbon. Use whiskey or rum. No vodka.

I can see only one problem. You probably couldn’t keep it in stock. Employees would steal it and sell it on the street at half the price. Boosting Grade A maple syrup! It’s in.

Others will take a hit every time they open the bottle for a customer. One for them, one for you. People won’t get suspicious, because you the ‘tender won’t be acting drunk.

No kidding, try it, then wonder why nobody sells it, except in a bottle at a grocery or specialty store.

The demand might be higher than the producers could provide. Something to think about.

I can see ‘tenders trying to dilute it with Aunt Jemima-style syrup. This could be big. If I can already see the corruption possibilities I know you can to, which means it has lucrative potential.

I’m in.

I’d also try mixing a little pink Himalayan salt in with the sugar for the rim. Not much.

Oh, and 2 exact drops of liquid smoke in the syrup.

M-m-m. I want one now, just writing about it. And looking at it makes me thirsty for maple syrup. Alright, hungry for maple syrup. I’m hungry for liquid.

NO. You can’t have any pancakes!! Pretzels maybe.






e-z addon1

KIRBY Vanilla Lemonade


After a long day at the office, coming home to a Kirby Vanilla Lemonade is just what my inner self ordered!

Makes 1 tall drink

Continue reading “KIRBY Vanilla Lemonade”

Scotch – Irish Rusty Nail


So what’s wrong with mixing Scotch and Irish? Nothing.

Jameson and Drambuie. That’s the way we order a Rusty Nail.

One for Steve, one for me.

Not so rusty!!





Java Nagila chocolate & mint flavored coffee served with vodka and coffee liqueur. Topped with candy cane dust, powdered dark cocoa and fresh mint sprig. Served with a candy cane dipper. Super special!

Makes as many as you want

Continue reading “WHITE RUSSIAN COFFEE”



Java Factory hazelnut & nutmeg flavored coffee with additional fresh grated nutmeg. Topped with vegan whipped cream, fresh orange zest and a cinnamon stick. Garnished with a clove studded orange wedge!

Makes 1 serving

Continue reading “HOLIDAY SPICE COFFEE”




Strawberry, blueberry and banana blended with walnut and flax seed in almond-coconut milk with dark cocoa and ginger juice! This is about the speed of my power drinks!

Makes 3 cups



Well today, this morning, I decided to juice pieces of stuff I saved and other stuff that I still had to prep.

Beets, carrots, celery, basil, and the juice of 2 oranges, hand juiced (the oranges). That’s what we had in the morning and we have enough to have a glass each this evening. That’s pretty much what we want, two glasses a day each.





That’s all you can do, unless you throw it away, or suffer through eating it, because you paid for it.

Steve loves watermelon. A couple years ago, the grocery had great watermelons all summer. Steve bought one – small one – and sometimes not so small – every day. Lots of people did. That large bin was being refilled often.

So he brings home a watermelon the other day. It was juicy, but not sweet. Not good. I juiced it and wow do you get a lot of juice from juicing watermelon. But the texture, eating it, was like it had been frozen or picked too early, but no it wouldn’t have been mushy, I don’t think.

Anyway, I’m noticing that produce isn’t looking so good right now – even carrots are gnarly, all different sizes in one bag, even from BoltHouse. I have to pick through stuff even at the high end stores. Don’t know what that’s the cause of, but hope it improves as the summer moves forward.

I added a little beet juice for sweet and we enjoyed it. Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to shop for dud watermelons. They’re too heavy to carry home anyway. I can do it, but I can’t get much else, and I have to balance the weight of my bags, so my shoulders don’t dislocate.

Right now I won’t take a risk on another dud.

I’m thinking cantaloupe. I’ll wait till they look better.




Alright, this is a tough one. Juicing ginger.

First I peel, then I don’t, it doesn’t seem to matter. You need to start with plump ginger. Just because ginger is a root, doesn’t mean that it’s suppose to be dry. Ginger root, unless it’s too old, is not dry; it’s wet. It’s juicy.

However, because the stands are so dense, it takes a lot of pressure to juice it. Peel it, don’t peel it, it doesn’t matter. Cut into small pieces helps, but still it takes a while and takes a lot of pushing.

When you’re done, the blades/strainer insert needs to be thoroughly brushed immediately under running water, and some bits need to be plucked from the blades. Not easy.

The end result, however, is worth it. Ginger juice is highly potent. A teaspoon in your glass of some other juice goes a long way. Use it in savory or sweet recipes calling for ginger.

In the photo above you can see what fresh, juicy ginger looks like (in the forefront) and the old gnarly one I had in the back of the crisper – good for pulverizing in a grinder into powder – maybe.



Beet juice is quickly becoming one of my favorite juices, and beets my favorite veggie to juice in my juicer machine.

Steve keeps reminding me to buy beets, so he’s feeling good about it too.

The yield is surprisingly high, given the hardness of the vegetable. It makes a lot of foam, but it’s good-tasting foam, thick and smooth. Wonderful.

I cut the ends off and discard. I know a lot of people juice the ends, but I don’t know what’s in those gnarly nubs, all those twisty crevices, what might be lurking. I also peel it.

I don’t peel carrots, but I don’t do those ends either, and I cut out any bad spots. The veggies that I juice are the ones I would use in a recipe, prepped the same way. I don’t want to juice stuff like the very end of the celery bunch – the end yes, but I thoroughly clean it first.

Brown, rotted leaves, no. If I wouldn’t eat it plain, I won’t juice it.




Every now and then I make myself a protein drink. I’ve had this container of pea protein from NOW SPORTS for about a year, that’s how seldom I make one. And I have a back up in the pantry. This one is almost empty, however, so at least I’m using it, albeit slowly.

Recently I decided to increase the amount of exercise I do, so thought I’d have one of these maybe once or twice a week.

So,  about 8 oz. Almond Milk – Almond Breeze is good – plus a banana, a bunch of fresh strawberries and 1 scoop protein powder. Blend till smooth, then top with a little nutmeg.

I keep my bananas in the refrigerator. They last longer that way, plus they make the drink colder.

I get two glasses out of this amount, one for now and one for later.

When I first started using the protein powder, I felt stronger, but I also felt hungry all the time, so I wasn’t using the drink to replace a meal, I used it between meals, so naturally I experienced some weight gain. I also noticed a little slowing in the brain department, and wondered if high protein diets can do that. Mine wasn’t so high, but maybe it was high for my needs.

Anyway, here I go again, restarting an old practice, this time as I want it, not as I think I need it. That seems to work better for me.


Okay, it’s that time of week again. Our day off. I stuck with the juicing. I’m not quite organized with it, and I’m not even sure if I want to be so structured that I begin to resent it. Let me just say that I’m juicing, not every day, but close. We don’t always have juice when we think we should have it, but I’ve gone through a lot of fruits and veggies so it’s going somewhere.

I decided on Strawberry Mimosas using juiced strawberries and oranges layered with champagne over ice. You have to peel the oranges and no two oranges are the same in juice yield. For instance the first orange yielded a small amount, the second orange a good deal more. The peeling part is not something I’ll do in the future. If I want fresh squeezed orange juice I’ll use my hand juicer. It’s a lot quicker.

So half-fill a tall glass with ice. Layer orange juice, champagne, strawberry juice, champagne, followed by just a drizzle of orange juice, being careful to pour slowly as it foams up quite a bit after each addition.

The strawberry juice is thicker than the orange juice, so it pretty much floats, which gives it a pretty appearance.

We both really enjoyed this drink.




Over the many years I’ve probably had 3-4 juicer machines. Each time after not much time, they all ended up at a garage sale. It just didn’t seem worth the time nor effort to get so little juice and so much pulp that I didn’t use out of the laborious process. That was back when veggies and fruits were cheap. They’re not cheap now. And don’t tell me to make a veggie loaf from the pulp. I won’t.

Still, I’ve been thinking lately that I might try it one more time. Fresh juices are expensive and some of the juices I liked the best and that advertised as fresh were really being held in warehouse vats up to three years before I drank them. What a shocker that was – especially for the ruby red grapefruit juice I liked so much. Come to think of it, even the whole grapefruits have been horrible for the last 2 years.

So here I go – once more – and so far it’s working out fairly well. The machine is a better quality, so I get more juice, but the veggies and fruits really are expensive. I bought 3 lbs. of cut celery for 5 dollars and 49 cents and got 2 large glasses of juice from it. That’s $2.75 per glass. Okay, so now I’ll look for sale items and discount stores and nothing precut. This is too much like work.

It does take a lot of time and the clean up… oh boy. Well, Steve and I think we both need more raw and juicing is a good way to get it. No recipes here. Just juice. I need to get more organized with it – save bits of produce I normally would throw away. Save space in the refrigerator to put the produce, plus the scraps plus the juice. I don’t like juicing everyday, so will probably do it 3 times a week, or thereabouts. And we can’t drink all the juice in the morning so we have nothing at night – discipline too! I’m not juicing twice a day that’s for sure.

I’ll have to tell you though, the apple juice tasted more like the finest cider, and the puree in the  bottom of the wire mesh strainer was delectable – like the most exquisite applesauce. People put an apple in every kind of juice to make it taste better and I can see why. For me it’s a lot to expect – to always have apples on hand. I really do have limited space.

Still, I’m staying with it. I’m going to have to get organic stuff and that’s more expensive, but it is my gut that I’m feeding. I want to be more optimistic, but I’m not there yet. Seems I’d have to be juicing and drinking all day and night for it to have benefit – but maybe not.

Hopefully I’ll have a more encouraging update. Cheers to tomorrows juice! How much juice do you think I can get out of 4 lbs. of strawberries?

UPDATE: I decided not to juice all the strawberries, since we like to eat them whole and it just seemed like a waste. I did, however, juice 12 oz. and obtained 8 oz. of juice. It textured like an ultra thin smoothie and didn’t separate for a long time, and even then it was minimal. So this is my plan. Next time I’ll make a dessert drink in a juice glass size. Add a little brown sugar, then top with a soy or coconut whipped cream flavored with vanilla. Maybe a mint sprig. Now that would be elegant.