No-bake coconut macaroon bar cookies

Coconut macaroon bar cookies
Enjoy Life chocolate chips


As we all know, women can’t live without chocolate, but when you’re soy intolerant, a chocolate free life is almost the only choice you have.  Chocolate generally contains soy lecithin as the emulsifier which makes it a treat I have to avoid.  Fortunately, Enjoy Life has a product that doesn’t push any of my buttons.

I’ve done lots of things with this chocolate.  Around our house it makes a safe out-of-the-bag snack, great chocolate dipped pecans and a versatile chocolate coconut macaroon cookie.

To make this super-simple recipe, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler.  If you’re adding anything additional to the recipe, this is the point where you would add it.

After the chips have fully melted, stir in the coconut a half-cup at a time.   Keep adding coconut until you like the looks of the mix.  Use less coconut if you want heavier, more chocolatey cookies or more coconut if  you want lighter, more crumbly cookies.

Dump the mix out on a piece of aluminum foil and spread it out.  After it’s completely cooled, cut it into squares.

I’ve made these with a dab of butter for extra richness or with a couple tablespoons of milk or buttermilk (REALLY good) for additional lightness.  You can add an extract like almond or vanilla, maybe even mint.  I bet orange zest would be good!

If you aren’t gluten intolerant, you can use this recipe as the filling between thin shortbread type cookies for a totally different twist.  Whatever additional ingredient(s) you choose, add it to the melting chocolate before adding the coconut.

I’m going to try a batch with some chevre cheese mixed in . . . I bet that’ll be good!  Mmmm!  It should add a nice creamy tang.

Roast beef “sandwich”

Gluten free roast beef "sandwich"
Toast 2 slices roast beef topped by 2 slices pepper jack cheese

Saute peppers and onions

Eating out I’m faced with a 10% chance that I will inadvertently end up eating something I shouldn’t and creativity at home prevents me from feeling deprived or limited.  Because I can’t eat gluten or soy, and because I have to be careful of other foods as well, I’m continually trying different combinations that respect my limitations.

I like Subway’s roast beef sandwich (made without the bread), but the last time I was there I got glutened by careless handling of my order.  It takes two weeks to recover which sucks, so creating my own roast beef sandwich became a must.

Safeway’s Primo Taglio house brand of roast beef is really quite good.  I get it sliced the same thickness as deli cheese.  Lucerne has sliced pepper jack cheese.   With a bit of onion, some red and green pepper, a sweet Anaheim pepper and some cucumber and tomato, I get a sandwich that rocks.



DIY vinyl lettering

The totally goth Lupo.

Our son has a goth Grand Wagoneer Jeep he has named Lupo.  Everyone who comes up behind it knows it is named Lupo because he has “Lupo” in chrome letters on the back . . . just southwest of the bumper sticker which says “I have evil minions on retainer.”  I did say it was goth.  Matt black with chrome accents?  That doesn’t scream “goth”?

I have a ’96 Sonoma in pretty dark teal with custom white and pink striping I call “Boop” after Betty Boop . . . because she’s got great legs.  I don’t have neat lettering on the back to inform everyone my pickup is named Boop, but I will have shortly.  I’ve ordered custom vinyl lettering from DIY Lettering.  I will shortly have raspberry pink lettering on the back of my Boop to match the pink pinstripes!  Chrome lettering wouldn’t be appropriate on something this girly!

Blooming Reed

Bog fern blooming

Up close you can see the little feathers.

Remember the hooch in the jungle, the cabin by the lake? The reed sitting in the north end of the bog filter tank is now blooming.

Last year I had two reeds, a small triangular stemmed one that looked like a very small version of this one and a zone hardy one that had small crimson blossoms.  I lost the small reed and the zone hardy one has morphed into this gigantic thing that’s nearly 4 foot tall with blossoms that aren’t crimson this year.

I can safely say I have no idea what’s going on.  I plan to whack this thing in half when it dies back and give half to Mindy.