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The other day I was trolling down Facebook checking out ‘eating light’, ‘recipes for low calorie treats’and seeing what my friends still teaching in the United Arab Emirates were up to. Some of them still were out brunching at elegant hotels or having an outdoor barbecue. I see that Ms. G is still with her new boyfriend as I have watched her switch several times since she first settled in the UAE seven years ago and she is with the same job!Facebook also makes some suggestions for me for friends most of whom I have never seen before. When I get bored, I can peruse different sale sites and contemplate buying some items. It is very addictive but can also be a dangerous medium if taken too seriously. I stop myself when I find myself comparing my situation to my friends in other parts of the country or world.

I say “a dangerous country” because the truth is not always posted on this medium. We post the reality we want others to see which doesn’t include the daily drudgery most of us contemplate daily. For example, this morning I helped my husband with some carpentry so that we will have a cooler home. Well, he performed the carpentry and the measurement of the wall unit while I kneeled holding two pieces of board sitting exactly still and praying he wouldn’t drill through my fingers.In between, I decided to do some dusting as I may not pass this way again for awhile! This reality allows me to improve my listening skills. An example would be when my husband is cleaning the gutters and I must get on the ladder and hand him his blower. I am not good with heights and afraid he will fall off the roof or I will fall off the ladder. When we finally finish the chore, I am happy.But the thing is that you can’t live life on social media. These daily drudgery is necessary to our existence and comfort, I am not going to publish what a selfie, “and here we are on the roof. Look at the view from up here! Holy cow, I can see my neighbor’s chimney.”

The positive thing is after I finish thinking or placing myself at the brunchery with my friend in Abu Dhabi or the possibility of a wonderful vacation that I see friends going on, or contemplate the best drinks for losing weight during the summer is that I am ready to approach reality again. I have noticed that house cleaning is full of lifting, reaching, and bending as is helping my husband with outdoor chores, so all the extra steps taken aren’t going to waste and I am living a healthy life. My husband knows some of these days are tough for both of us and goes to Publix to pick up a fresh fruit salad for breakfast. Life is funny. I often think about what might happen if I had stayed in New York City but then again, as someone recently told me, you could just have well have been in the twin towers on 9/11. And it is true that some Stony Brookers would have been in New York working in the financial district.

We don’t know but the best thing is to get off social media and start living our life. Remember social media is not always pretty but those posting want us to think life is always pretty. Sometimes you just have to get dirty to get a life.Consider yourself lucky if you meet a partner or friend willing to get dirty along with you.

Enjoy your summer. The last day of school is next week.

I was reading about how healthy dark chocolate and coffee are for you and I found this online. The end of the week when summer will soon be here and there will be time to take advantage of the exercise place I signed up for in December once again.

Chef Gigi Gaggero



1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
6 ounces good quality 60-70 % chocolate,finely chopped
6 ounces good quality 80% chocolate 80%,finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
1- 4 inch cinnamon stick
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon good quality instant espresso powder
Unsweetened whipped cream,for serving


In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream, cinnamon stick and sugar. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce heat add the vanilla, espresso and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1/2 – 1 cup of the hot milk, into egg yolks while whisking vigorously; do-not to curdle the eggs. Bring the egg yolks close to the same temperature as the milk. This stage is called: Tempering…

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I have been searching for a manageable way to use prosciutto the next time I visit Mazzaro’s in Saint Pete. I follow this blog and love the recipe. It reminds me of my mom’s cooking and it is something you can experiment with by adding your own sides and using a slight variation of some items.

Maison Travers

IMG_9136The perfect one-dish meal! Poulet Basquaise is a standard plat du jour in many bistros across France and there must be at least a hundred interpretations of this classic dish. It originates in the Basque country and is traditionally made with a little Bayonne ham. The generic term Bayonne applies to any salt-cured ham that is air-dried for five months. You may use any unsmoked ham such as prosciutto or Serrano if you cannot find Bayonne. The difference between poulet basquaise and many other chicken and tomato stews is that here the onions and tomatoes are cooked separately from the chicken and peppers and the cooked chicken is served on a bed of the tomato and onion sauce. Additionally the dish tastes especially good due to the addition of Espelette pepper. It is a mildish pepper with lots of flavour and not much heat. If for some reason you cannot…

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I have been published again and the book is available on Amazon. Here is the link. I am excited and hope this summer to work on my short stories (fiction). Also, I have received notice that I will be teaching online as an English Instructor this summer. It seems good news for me is in pairs this season. I also have a few new options for the summer!! This week, Coach Dungy visited our classroom with his wife to speak about his published book for children. Of course, the boys in the class were very excited almost as if he were on a recruiting trip for the Bucs!

I wanted to share this blog because this lady cooks so well and I want to share her energy and good taste. Enjoy.

Paula's Comfort Kitchen

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We grill all the time, all year, all kinds of weather, all kinds of food, but there is something special to the first bbq of the season. So, how did we get there? I had to go to my office this morning, and realized that it was almost noon and I hadn’t defrosted anything for dinner, so I went to Giant and wandered the store till I figured out what I wanted. I wanted kababs, so I went to the butcher and asked for a small leg of lamb to cut up and marinate. Nope — they sold out at Passover/Easter and didn’t have any. Then I asked for thick cut sirloin steaks. Nope — they had it, but it was going on sale tomorrow for 1/2 price, so why didn’t I wait? I couldn’t disagree but had to regroup. As I turned to check out chops, I saw they…

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Source: The First BBQ of Summer – Fall off the bone bbq ribs, slaw & corn on the cob

I am continuing to substitute teach until the end of the year. I am learning a lot. It has been around 10 years since I was in the School district. At the time, I did not have a professional certificate but now I do. I am also finishing with my class as an adjunct and wondering if I will find a job for the summer.

Mostly, subbing is a hit or miss which tells you a lot about the school and the population. If you don’t have a good experience at a school, you may talk with another substitute and find a similar experience. Some days are good and some, you need to renew your faith! Or maybe a good night’s sleep is needed! It is also a challenging time for everyone in the school district as everyone is anticipating the summer break.

Thanks for listening.