Spring Cleaning, Tablet Tote, Israeli Salad & Bonito Soup

Making a padded tote for my ASUS Transformer Book

Making a padded tote for my ASUS Transformer Book

Today I woke up with energy to burn.  I washed our bedroom windows, the mirrored closet doors, put a pretty tablecloth with lace over that on my dresser, put my jewelry box, tiny crystal hurricane lamps and a couple of favorite old collectibles on it, then put a doily, silk flower arrangement and a larger hurricane lamp on Ron’s chest.  I still need to put my framed tatting on the wall over my dresser.

It gave the room such a sweet, old fashioned air.

We got the big limbs that were blown down by the storm picked up.  I still have thousands of little broken branches and pine cones to go.  But it was a little cool out today, so I decided to play inside instead.  🙂

Israeli salad over avocado

Israeli salad over avocado

I made a curry tonight, but it didn’t made a pretty photo, so I’m posting a picture of an Israeli salad I made a couple of nights ago.  An Israeli girlfriend taught me how to make it back in the early ’80’s.  I think all she used was very finely minced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions, splashed with lemon juice and olive oil.

I like mine with added peppers and radishes if I have them.  Sometimes I’ll put finely shredded lettuce in it, too.  The secret for making the taste superb is to allow the flavors to blend for a couple of hours.  It’s even better the next day.

I used to make it only to stuff with falafel in pitas, where it really shines.  But now that I’m doing low carb, the bread is off limits.  But I discovered it is also out of this world served in an avocado half.

I discovered another wonderful cooking secret.  You know how anchovies give Caesar Salad Dressing that special taste?  I was browsing through Amazon’s Oriental foods a few weeks ago and saw comments that said bonito fish stock gives a very special touch to chicken soups.  You can’t taste the fish, and you can’t really tell what is doing it, but something is extra special about the dish.

Bonito fish soup crystals

Bonito fish soup crystals

So I ordered some and have started adding 1/8 teaspoon whenever I do boiled chicken dishes.  It does make a huge difference.  I didn’t tell Ron what I was adding, but he has said that the last two chicken soups and stews I have made were the best ever.  Might be something to try if you are brave.  😀







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  1. After my bd on the 27th I want to get onboard with low carbs.. I feel a bit out of control… ):

    • All of the special touches you have added to your home, sound nice!

      • Hi, Roberta, Low carbing will definitely help you get back in control. I’ve been doing it since December 22 and I feel so much better.

        I have a non-functioning thyroid and despite the meds, I am not losing weight. But I keep eating that way because of how much better I feel. And I know if I stopped, my blood sugar would skyrocket and I would gain a lot more weight.

        Good luck! Check out the low carb forums when you get ready to start. The help and support is priceless!

        And thanks for the comment on the house. It was fun!

        • Almost two months, in fact tomorrow we moved from southern Cal to Oregon. Our eating went out the door while looking for a house to buy. We are somewhat settled but still not where I’d like to be when it comes to eating. I don’t want to gain back the ten pounds I lost last year.. I also need to incorporate activity. We have a great area for riding our bikes..Anyway thank you for the encouragement! ps I have noticed for quite a while that I seem to have a lot of mucus in my system. Today I started reading up on it. Sugar and other things may be a contributor to it..

          • Roberta, giving up sugar and wheat has made an incredible difference. My extra mucous, allergies, arthritis pain and lethargy are gone.

            Always before when I low carbed it was very difficult to leave the wheat and sugar alone. This time I was in such bad shape and was so grateful for the improvement that I am not tempted at all by those things.

            The battle really is in your mind. When you realize you don’t WANT to eat those things that make you so miserable, the worst of the battle is won.

            • I think it has to do with food allergies..My husband brought home some bread to go along with a stew he made and my stomach is feeling uncomfortable. I’ll be glad for March to get here..i want to get going on this. Thank you for your input!

  2. Your room sounds nice and cozy. The salad sounds yummy too. Not thinking I would want to add the fish stuff.

    • You do have to be a little brave to add the fish crystals to a big pot of chicken. 🙂

      I am looking at my walls and thinking I want to paint them, too…. but not just yet!

  3. Wow, I sure like the avocado salad! You can tell on my blog that I eat avocados almost every day in some form. Great stuff! I like to do Mexican ceviche (similar to pico de gallo along with fish or shrimp, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado and lime juice). It would be fun to make some and put it in the other half of an avocado.

  4. EmilyO

     /  February 25, 2014

    Spring has hit you. Yea! Well, your feeling better has helped a whole bunch too. Glad to read a cheerful you.

    • Emily, it is so fantastic to feel like doing things! And I am just high on anticipating camping and gardening weather. 🙂

  5. cozybegone

     /  February 25, 2014

    I love everything which includes an avocado! Aren’t they just so darn creamy…..everyone is so busting up for SPRING….low 27 here in a couple nights. Only good part about that is I sleep like a rock! Love the windows open and lots of blankets.

    • I wish Ron would let me sleep under tons of blankets with the windows open!

      When we camp in cold weather, I crack my Casita window open after he goes to sleep. 🙂

      My daffodils are getting ready to bloom. That is proof to me that spring will get here before too long!

      • cozybegone

         /  February 25, 2014

        I won’t tell Ron! Daffaodils are sure sign…lovely buttercups!

  6. Hmmm . . . I may try the fish sauce – gotta love flavor complexity in food!
    I’ve been wanting a good travel case for my new laptop – hadn’t thought about making one, but I like yours! Good idea!

    • Anne, I looked at covers and they were all so cheap looking and ugly. The only one I liked cost $59.00. So I figured I could make one that would cost a lot less and look better, too. Also, it is not so obviously a computer cover, so might be less likely to get stolen.

      And it was free, since I already had the materials!

  7. You are certainly staying busy….seems like you have a lot of energy! Always enjoy what you write.
    We have been driving all week and I’ve been off the internet except for checking the weather and a random comment or so. Do hope the snow and ice are over!

    • Lynne, it’s supposed to go down into the low 20’s tonight, but after that, it looks like it will start warming up for good. I hope!

      Hope the driving isn’t wearing you out so you can enjoy the return trip. Stay safe! 🙂

  8. Long time no hear from me!!! I apologize but life just got me down. With the fire in the sunroom, the reconstruction going on and the passing of our 14.5 yr old Golden I just decided to lay low!!
    Our daffodils are beginning to bloom. The Tulip trees were beginning to look very nice but the last dip in temps took them to a ugly brown. Today was just wonderful!!! Spring will come 🙂
    Your room sounds wonderful…I love the old fashion look!! Very quaint!!

    • Gerri, so good to hear from you. I know what you mean about life getting you down. It’s doing a number on me, but I am trying to stay positive.

      Glad you are starting to come out of it and able to see the hope and beauty ahead.

      God bless! 🙂

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