Cooking 101


If you can read English, and follow directions, you can be a good cook. Over the years I have read dozens of cookbooks. This one, the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, 11th edition, is the best cookbook ever. Seriously, it has tons of useful information and of course, amazing recipes. As you learn many of your favorites you start to understand the importance of the different ingredients. The other cookbook that I really admire and sometimes use, is The Joy of Cooking. It  is more  advanced.

There are literally hundreds of recipes and after you experiment with some of them you will find a plethora of menu ideas. If you wanted to be a baker and learn about different kinds of breads and how they are made, this is the book that will teach you. I have only dabbled lightly with the Joy of Cooking. One thing is it if full of information. Why go to a culinary cooking school when you can just read and learn from this amazing cookbook? Besides, don’t you get tired of always having the same thing for dinner? Spaghetti every Monday. Tacos on Tuesday. Hamburgers on Wednesday. Yeah, you get the point. Spice things up, literally, with some variety in your menu planning. Did you know Julia Childs was a simple  stay at home wife who became a famous chef? True story.  How did you like the green chili? Yeah, I loved it too. I don’t make it often, but when I do I smother all my Mexican food and French fries with it.


Did you see the new Paranormal Activity – Next of Kin movie? Wow, not what I thought it was going to be. I was thinking like, you know, ghosts and shit, but oh no. It is far worse than that. It is scary. People die. Could be based on a true story, but either way, it is bone chilling. If you watch it, there is a scene where I am literally yelling “Bitch don’t go down there.”  Laugh now, you won’t be when you watch it. And sadly, Google and Disney at are war as my YouTube subscription just lost ESPN, abc, and FX, which are owned by Disney.

And here is the latest from the NY Times regarding COVID.

Cases 125,838 +20% 50,663,217
Tests 1,592,057 +68%
Hospitalized 68,659 +18%
Deaths 1,294 +15% 804,266

Did you see “And Just Like That” episode 3? I was thinking, how could they make the show even more awkward for the audience? Well, that would be easy. Just write in Natasha the stick figure with no soul. Boom. Wish granted. Big … sorry, JOHN, gives his ex-wife, Natasha, a sizable amount in his will. Well, good job Patrick King. Everyone hated the tension in the series, way to bring it back with the reboot. It gets better next week, … Stanford makes an exit — stage left … forever.



Colorado Green Chili

1-2 pound pork tenderloin (pressure cook it in your InstantPot for 20 minutes)
4-6 roasted green chili peppers (pulverized to a slush) [if you can’t get fresh, frozen will work]
2-3 large cloves of garlic
1 large red onion
2 jars of green salsa verde, made with tomatillos
12-16 ounces of chicken stock/broth
1 cup of flour mixed well with water to thicken to a gravy consistency


This is my “secret” recipe. It really isn’t that much of a secret and has the same basic ingredients as other recipes. In Colorado roasted chili peppers can easily be found up and down Federal and Sheridan boulevard. There is even a big festival every year that is held in Pueblo. I still have a bouquet of red chili peppers I got there.  The chili is super popular here and you can get it at almost every Mexican restaurant, on your burritos, enchiladas, and even as a soup. It is very different than your normal red based chili. I don’t add red chili pepper like some recipes as I want it to be truly authentic. Those little black flakes are from the roasted chili peppers, not actual ground pepper. Top with scallions and sour cream and warm flour tortillas on the side for dipping. THE best green chili you will ever taste. Magically delicious.




10K Calories -> 100 or Less

So, would you like to know how you can go from 10,000+ calories a day to less than a hundred? So I don’t want to sound like Romy & Michelle, but I invented this fat free, basically calorie free diet that forced my body to shed all this excess fat/weight. “God I wish I had your willpower.” – Michelle Weinberger.
When your body realizes you stopped giving it those fatty sugars, and no carbs it goes into survival mode and starts using those stored reserves. Yay, it’s that rainy day your body has been waiting for! I start by doing the 20 hour fast and then eating twice within a 4 hour window. I usually eat at 10 am and then 2 pm. I counted the calories and if you make an Asian wonton soup, with spinach, green onions and water chestnuts, it is less than 100 calories. Actually it is 78. Yes, you read that right.


Fill that InstantPot full of clean water and boil away. If you need some protein you can throw in a shrimp or two and it won’t add too many calories. You can mix it up with other vegetables to have some variety. You aren’t starving your body, and you won’t feel hungry. If you have added collagen to your daily coffee, that should also help give you a more “full” feeling. As a snack I eat almonds and sunflower seeds (only a handful). Almonds are a great source of magnesium and protein. Nut protein should always be your go to snack. Try this for as long as you can stand it.


A shout out to my new favorite YouTube personality, Thomas DeLauer. I highly suggest you check him out and watch a few videos. He is easy on the eyes also. He totally motivates me to grab the dumbells. I wish my biceps bulged like his.
If you want to make your soup more like hot and sour, splash in some Braggs apple cider vinegar and stir in an egg when it comes to a boil. The soup brand? I get it at the Asian market, Ocean Pacific, so it is pretty authentic. Dragon something? I think most of them are zero calories so pick one. Enjoy.

Yay it’s shark week! I just watched shark vs. tuna. Amazing. I love shark week. Crazy that they have been on this planet like forever.



The “House” Always Wins

Even when you win, the house still wins more. What do I mean you ask? Well, almost every single slot machine in Vegas now operates on a ticket payout system. Long gone are the coins where you turned them into cashiers, mainly due to the fact that years ago there were some very smart stupid con artists who discovered how to rip off the machines by using a couple of simple tools. One of those tools was called “The light wand” and it would trick the machine and you would win. I watched the documentary on YouTube. Fascinating.



Now back to the house winning, in more way than one. Since there is a “coin” shortage, if you happen to have any change on that ticket, you don’t get it. The house keeps it. While you might not think it is a lot, there was an entire movie on how a guy ripped off a bank by stealing pennies from millions. Yeah, so now you get the idea. So when you play slots, there are also hundreds of people that keep those little tickets as their keepsake. They put it in a scrapbook, or whatever. House kept that money too. And just so you know, there are still machines that you CAN play one penny one line. Or one quarter one line. No one is forcing you to hit MAX BET.


People are strange and part of the experience of the trip is seeing the multitude of types of people. And people are lonely now, so when a guy like me comes up and starts up a chat while you are winning, usually goes over pretty well. You are either “GIRL” or “Dude”. A lot of people feel like it is more difficult to talk to strangers due to the pandemic. Well, we are both wearing our masks so it is okay. I stayed away from smokers. Speaking of … I forgot how many people smoke in Vegas. It is horrible. It was mostly while visiting Fremont Street, which doesn’t seem to have any impact, as thousands of people are gambling and drinking in public. If it was hotter I am sure more people would be drinking those giant frozen drinks. If you want to do the zip-line you have to make reservations online in advance, like at least 24 hours. My sister in law did the superman version and she said it was an exhilarating 3 minutes.


The clientele on Fremont and Circus Circus and probably pretty close, as they are not the “dress up” to go out crowd. Probably the cool factor is the overhead dome shield that is animated and protecting you from the blazing sun. Loud rock pop music is playing, and you can see all kinds of beggars. We saw a fat old huge breasted retired broke stripper. She had stars over her nipples and was wearing a plastic mask. It was … not pretty. But that is her income, taking picture showing off her mammoth tits. There is a giant 3 hotel property that is opening sometime this year in 2021. It is called All Resorts World. I watched a YouTube video on it, and it is very impressive.  Looks expensive. They have 6000 positions open. Guess how many applicants applied. Nope. 85,000ish. They are more than overwhelmed and it is due to the thousands of people unemployed in Vegas.


My brother and his wife stayed at the Golden Nugget on Fremont street, and I have to say I was rather impressed at how nice it was. They have a shark tank that is in the middle of the pool. The only complaint is when you enter the front door, there is no ramp for you roll your luggage. WTF? Right? #goldennugget Listen up and fix this. I am not the only person who has rolling luggage that visits your “classy” hotel. They had a lot of nice restaurants, including Claim Jumper, Tequila Bar, and Chik-Fil-A, and a Starbucks. I found out from my Uber that they DO have a dedicated Uber/Lyft pick up. It is IN the garage and you have to walk across the street up to the 2nd floor. No signage. WTF. Right? I know. Vending machines are closed but you can still get ice. So … bring your empty water bottle and fill it with ice for free ice water. And wash your hands after touching the button. Or use your elbow. Pools in Vegas open March 1st, so airlines and hotels have already increased prices as they know it will draw in more players. I think cruising down a lazy river with very few people around sounds amazing. I think another quick vacay at the Mirage is in my near future.


The Neiman Marcus Cookie


This is my favorite cookie recipe. I had it on my website decades ago and decided to do a new posting on it. I don’t always just talk about books and websites. I like to cook, bake, grill be a regular lil chef.  If you haven’t ever tried this cookie, you are in for a treat.


This is the infamous story of the Neiman-Marcus cookie.  Though it has circulated across the world thousands of times, like many of the “Internet Legends”, this story is not true.  In fact, I have personally verified this story with the Neiman-Marcus department store.  More than likely, it was conjured up by NM themselves as a PR gig.  At any rate, this is a fun little story and a wonderful recipe to go along with it. 

Once upon a time…. My daughter and I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because our family are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the “Neiman-Marcus Cookie.” It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and they said with a small frown, “I’m afraid not.” Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe? With a cute smile, she said, “Yes.” I asked how much, and she responded, “Two-fifty.” I said with approval, just add it to my tab.

Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. I looked again and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, “Cookie Recipe – $250.00.” Boy, was I upset!! I called Neiman’s Accounting Dept. and told them the waitress said it was “two-fifty,” and I did not realize she meant $250.00 for a cookie recipe. I asked them to take back the recipe and reduce my bill and they said they were sorry, but because all the recipes were this expensive so not just everyone could duplicate any of our bakery recipes . . . the bill would stand.

I waited, thinking of how I could get even or even try and get any of my money back. I just said, “Okay, you folks got my $250.00 and now I’m going to have $250.00 worth of fun.” I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover will have a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus for nothing. She replied, “I wish you wouldn’t do this.” I said, “I’m sorry but this is the only way I feel I could get even,” and I will.

So, here it is, and please pass it to someone else or run a few copies… I paid for it; now you can have it for free.

(Recipe may be halved.):

  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 cups oatmeal (blended)
  • 24 oz. chocolate chips
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.  I recommend you half this recipe as this makes almost TEN dozen cookies.