Zucchini Lasagna Rollies

(While typing this up, I had a thought: Maybe I should post the finished product first, so you can see the beautiful food. I think that’s what most people do. Thought?)

I had a day off today, so I decided to cook something that took a little more time and effort. I looked up a bunch of recipes and decided to make zucchini lasagna roll ups. You can find the site I got the recipe from HERE.

I was kind of excited, because I’ve used a mandolin slicer to cut zucchini, but this would be my first time using my ribbon slicer. I tried them both so you don’t have to!

The mandolin slicer made nice, even slices, and I had quite a few when I was done. Just a tip: Please, for the love of all that’s good in this world, PLEASE use the finger guard! Several years ago, I didn’t… and there was blood.

Beautiful zucchini slices!

The ribbon cutter took some getting used to… but when I did, I loved it!

Look at these beautiful ribbons of zucchini! I ended up doing two of the zucchini with this, and one with the mandolin slicer.

After letting them sit out for an hour or two, I put them in the oven to help dry the ribbons and slices. Zucchini is notoriously watery, and I didn’t want a bunch of water in my lasagna.

The recipe called for sausage only, but I chose to get half hot Italian sausage and half extra lean beef. I broke up the sausage first and started cooking it. Then I added the beef and even some chopped onion.

When the meat and onion was done, I let it cool a little and then added it to the ricotta, egg, freshly grated parmesan, and fresh basil. I put in probably twice the amount of basil… because it’s good. I may have put in more parmesan than called for as well. And ricotta.

I used the same skilled that I cooked the meat in and put Rao’s vodka sauce in the bottom. I love Rao’s! They don’t add sugar to their sauce, and it’s soooo good!

Starting with the slices, I put a bit of the meat/cheese mixture on and then added mozzarella…. and rolled it up! It was easy, but messy. I don’t mind messy.

My first one in the sauce, I kept rolling more. Then I got to the ribbons.

It took a minute to figure out how long I should cut the ribbon, but it was easy after that.

It didn’t take long before I would cut them into the right-ish sizes and have a few stacked up to roll.

I filled the skillet! It’s like a meaty, cheesy bouquet!

I added more mozzarella on the top, and then put the last of the vodka sauce on top to finish it.

Wow. This is heaven.

Here it is, plated. Or bowled? Anyway, I did put a little more sauce on it, but I wanted you to be able to see the individual rolls. I cooked it for 25 minutes or so, and the zucchini was still kind of chewy/crunchy. I’ll have plenty of leftovers, and I’m sure as I heat them up, the zucchini will cook more thoroughly.

Overall, I loved it. My husband liked it too and had seconds. To be fair, he took a small portion to start with, but went for seconds after it was deemed good. Ha! I would definitely make this again!

Mayonnaise Soup

There are a couple of reasons why I like to make my own mayonnaise. It’s delicious, of course, but also, store-bought mayo has sugar in it. I’m not a fan. I use mayonnaise for savory things, and I don’t want sweet mayo (sorry, Miracle Whip). Let’s not even talk about all the chemicals and preservatives.

Then there’s the whole issue of flavors. I can add a touch of garlic, as much or as little salt, a little lemon, whatever I want. So yeah, I like to make my own mayo. I found a good recipe recently, and a solid technique, so I was very surprised when I went to make mayonnaise and ended up with mayo soup.

This stuff would NOT emulsify or whatever needed to be done! I tried the fixes that I found on the internet: I added another egg yolk. Nope. I added more oil. Nope. I added a couple of teaspoons of boiling water. Nope, nope, nope! Soup is what I had.

I made it twice. I ended up using four eggs, two and a half cups of oil, and marginal vinegar, mustard, and salt. I was… well, not furious, but pretty frustrated. I couldn’t understand what when wrong! Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

Our sweet boy kitty wanted to help, but he knows he’s not allowed on the countertops. He got creative when I opened the drawer.

That wasn’t enough, so he soon jumped up on my shoulder for a better view.

Here’s what I did wrong:
1. I used the jar I wanted to keep it in, and I really needed something smaller. The yolk would get whipped into the oil, but it wasn’t contained enough for it to emulsify with it. So, I needed a smaller container to make it in. Luckily, Cuisinart makes just such a container, and it’s even marked with measurements, making it easy to add the correct amount of oil without using a measuring cup.

2. I didn’t let the egg get to room temperature. Now, I don’t know why that’s such a big deal, but I made mayonnaise today, and I let that egg sit out for a couple of hours. I’ll be damned if I’m making more soup!

Look at that thick, creamy mayonnaise! I put in a little garlic, and “Mwha!” (*kissing fingers*) THIS is what mayo is supposed to look like!

Now that I know how I erred, I’m hoping this will reach somebody else who doesn’t understand why they are making mayo soup. May my answers be your answers.

McMenamins: The Edgefield

Some of my gal pals and I decided to go on a girl’s trip to The Edgefield. The Edgefield is a fantastic place to go, especially for adults (in my opinion). There are multiple places to eat and drink, along with a spa and a soaking pool. So, we planned a trip here in the winter, along with a hike.

Here’s the view from my twin room. The Edgefield is a McMenamins facility. They are well known for taking things like old schools and repurposing them into hotels and such. There’s also a hostel in this one, so if you want to stay on the cheap, you totally can! I chose to get a twin room, which is also pretty inexpensive.

Another view from my window.

All the rooms are quirky, but you can see why this is a twin room. It’s small, but sweet and cozy. I love it!

There are lots of hidden gems to be on the watch for, such as this pipe. See the face on the elbow?

Here’s another face… I don’t know who painted them all, but it’s so cool!


There are cocktails as well as their own brand of wine, made somewhere nearby, I believe.

This is their version of a French 75, which was quite tasty!

We stopped at Lucky’s pool hall and played some shuffleboard. None of us were good at it, and all four of us had a blast!

Random art is all over the place. On the walls, the pipes, everywhere!

There’s still a very distinct “school” feel to it. It feels like I went to elementary school here, although I certainly did not. I love it.

Even the water fountains gave me flashbacks.

On some floors, the bathrooms were segregated into women’s and men’s. On this floor, you could just go into the bathroom area…

…and you’d find several separate bathrooms, all with showers. One of them had a clawfoot bathtub.

This is one of my favorites, which continues below.

This was the area where my room was in. All the different lights were amazing, and the art was psychedelic.

I wonder who these people are…

They also put the names of artists and bands on the wall who have performed there. They have concerts, mostly during the summer months. I was amazed to see Lizzo had been there! And then I saw this:

Wow! That’s awesome!

These two were part of one big corner. You can see they’re all puppets. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that. But in my defense, when you’re looking at it in person, it’s hard to take in all of the details at once.

From what it looks like, the bank took people’s homes away, and they came to this place for shelter and to work.

I love this one. It is in one of the lady’s lounges (women’s bathrooms).

It was actually pretty dark when I took this picture, and I was amazed at how it turned out! I think it’s an old silo? It isn’t in use, obviously, but it’s still beautiful.

This is their red water tower. You saw this in one of the pieces of wall art above, with the two old ladies.

Here’s their wonderful soaking pool! It’s one of the best reasons to go to the Edgefield!

It’s very common to see people walking around in their terrycloth hooded robes that are provided by The Edgefield. You’ll see them going to or coming from the soaking pool. There’s a little stand where you can buy drinks at the poolside, and it’s also where Ruby’s Spa is.

We went to the Powell Butte Nature Park for our hike. It was overcast and windy, with occasional rain. It’s too bad, because we couldn’t see Mt. Hood!

I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but it’s impressive in person.

When the wind wasn’t blowing, it was quite nice!

My friend Leelah and I stayed on the top, traveling on gravel and dirt. The paths are extremely well traveled and maintained.

I believe you can have dogs, but they must be on a leash.

I do wish it had been a clear day – this would have been a fun view of part of the city and Mt. Hood. Maybe next time!

We may go to a different McMenamins next time, we’re still working out the details. I highly recommend The Edgefield, though. The Black Rabbit restaurant has outstanding food that is priced decently. The cocktails are yummy, but not strong. The wine is wonderful. The whole place is quirky and so much fun! I’ve stayed a couple of nights here before, and never left the premises. There’s plenty to do, eat, and drink.

Low Carb Shrimp Scampi & Salad

I am trying very hard to stick to my diet, and decided to have a low-carb, mostly low-calorie dinner of shrimp scampi and a salad. I saw a wonderful creamy Cajun shrimp recipe, but I know I would eat too much of the sauce, so I opted for this choice.

Starting with a vinaigrette for the salad, I gathered some lemon zest before juicing it. Luckily, I put the zest in a different container before getting the juice…

Because I had a wee mishap with the juice! It’s okay, I had more than one lemon.

After putting the lemon juice, zest, and olive oil in a container, I got some honey and fresh thyme.

Come on. Those layers are just gorgeous!

I had some thinly sliced shallots, and added some of those to the mix as well. I saved the sliced radishes for the salad later.

I have to say, this tool is possibly my favorite kitchen tool. I can emulsify, mix, and blend with this thing! THIS is basically what I have, and I can’t imagine not having it now!

Oh my goodness, look at that creamy vinaigrette! The recipe called for two tablespoons of honey, and it was a bit sweet for me. Next time I’ll just use one tablespoon. Other than that, it was wonderful!

I put this goodness in a jar and into the refrigerator.

Spiralizing the zucchini is easy with the right tool. I wasn’t paying attention and started making the wrong kind, but then switched to the right attachment. I’m not as fond of this spiralizer but have ordered another kind. If it’s good, I’m sure I’ll let you know.

A bit of butter, olive oil, and garlic… and then when that was hot and fragrant, some red pepper flakes and sauvignon blanc. I let that simmer and cook down a little before adding the shrimp and parsley.

The shrimp and zoodles was quite good! I was very happy with how it all turned out. I could have cooked the zoodles less (or not at all), but I don’t mind overcooking my zucchini.

As for the salad, I used tender butter lettuce with the thinly sliced radishes and shallots. I even had croutons as a splurge! The lemon thyme dressing was amazing. I can’t wait to make the less-sweet version!

Jan 02 Bike Barn

I may have forgotten to post this…

I’m getting back into the saddle. My bike saddle, that is. Cycling season will be here before I know it, so I hopped on my Bowflex bike (which I adore) and opened on the Explore the World app on my iPad.

I chose Hawaii for this “trip,” hoping to catch glimpses of sun and sea. I think this app is awesome! I got to see the inner parts of Hawaii, not the ocean parts, but it was still cool. And there are tons of places to view while you ride!



Who knows where I’ll ride next… in the comfort of my living room. I might look for Egypt or somewhere hot. Meanwhile, my sweetheart got me a bike barn for Christmas, and it arrived! Time to put it up!

We’ll put down a concrete pad when it warms up a bit, but leveled out gravel will do for now.

Lots of parts, but everything is well labeled.

It came with the vent holes and everything pre-cut. It was just a matter of putting all together right.

Slowly but surely, it started taking shape. We had a “spatula” to help slide things together, and it helped. It was a tight fit, as it should be, to keep the weather out.

One of the last things to go in was the window. It’s plastic and allows for a bit of light inside.

It’s done!

I love it! My only complaint is that the locking mechanism is screwed on from the outside. So… it just take a screwdriver to bypass the lock. This is behind a locked gate, so I feel it’s pretty secure.

It fits my bikes perfectly! Eventually I may put a few hooks in for my helmet and some other items. I’ll wait until the weather is a bit better and I’m getting ready to ride more. I’m so happy with my new bike barn!

Makin’ Hot Sauce!

Folks, I love hot sauce. I also like trying new ones, always in search of the perfect sauce. It’s difficult because I like a lot of heat, but a lot of flavor, too. And I don’t like sweet sauces or sauces with a lot of vinegar.

My two favorite sauces currently are the Bend Sauce, made in my very own state of Oregon, and the Adoboloco Hamajang sauce. The Bend Sauce is not too hot, but has amaaaazing flavor. It also isn’t full of vinegar or sugar. The Adoboloco Hamajang sauce is VERY HOT, but is a bit vinegary. Sometimes put them both on my burritos and tacos for the best of both worlds.

My honey is the best. He bought me a hot sauce making kit! (You can check that out Here.) The thought of making my own hot sauce had never crossed my mind! But now… the possibilities are endless! Or at least there are many possibilities.

I chose to start with chipotle, habanero, and ancho pasilla peppers. I let them soak in hot water to soften them up.

After they were softened, de-stemmed, and de-seeded, I added the spice mix from the DIY kit (that smells a lot like cumin), some onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Now, some of you pepper people may wonder why I took the seeds out. That, after all, is a great source of heat! Well, I’m following the instructions… the first time. I’m wondering if it makes it too thick/fiberous?

I then added water and about half the apple cider vinegar that they suggested. I let it simmer, and it smelled great! As you can imagine, I had the oven fan on to make sure I didn’t gas myself, my husband, or our pets.

After several tweaks and tastings, I landed on what I felt was acceptable. I ended up adding a teaspoon of sugar (it was just a bit too acidic and harsh without it), and more spices, a tiny bit of vinegar and a little more water, the last two really for pourability. It started out pretty thick, otherwise.

Voila! I have my own smoky, chipotle hot sauce that has a fair amount of heat to it, not too much vinegar, and only a little sugar! It made enough to fill the glass bottle and a squeeze bottle, so I may give a squeezy away to a friend. I have a feeling this is going to be a fantastic new hobby for me!

01/01 at the Oregon Coast

January first! We decided to go to the coast for a nice day trip. It’s about one and a half hours, so not far. We went to one of the jetties, and there was a little wind, but not so much that you couldn’t enjoy the day.

Here on the coast, the skies were blue and beautiful! It was still chilly – I wore my Cotopaxi coat (which was actually a bit too warm) and a knit cap. My sweetheart was much less dressed for cool weather, but he tolerated it just fine.

There were quite a few people on the beach (it’s hard to tell from that picture), and some were cleaning plastic and other trash from our beautiful coastline. I appreciate them so much! It makes me want to grab a trash bag for next time I go.

My sweetheart got a kite for Christmas, and today was a great day to try it out. It’s a parachute-style, so there’s nothing to break. That’s really much better for me, because I crash frequently.

Getting ready to launch!

The kite was up on the first attempt, and easy to fly!

The two strings make it easy to steer. He did dives and swooshes, and was easily able to maintain control.

I had more fun watching him fly the kite… When I tried it, I crashed immediately! But I was able to fly just fine after that.

Quick selfie! We don’t take enough pictures together! We had a nice, long walk on the beach after flying the kite. It was just wonderful.

We stopped for lunch at a place that has been around for many years. My husband had the halibut fish and chips, and they were so good! I had prawn linguine, which was not as good as the fish and chips. I can’t complain though, because it was such a nice day.

What a great way to start the year!

Easy Meal Prep

I’ve had another job change (same hospital, different department and shift), so I’m changing how I meal prep. My husband has made a bunch of breakfast burritos for his lunches before, and I love breakfast burritos! So, I decided to make a low carb (or keto?) version for myself.

This week I’m doing a green chili and cheese burrito. I want to bulk it up with veggies whenever I can, to make it more filling. And I looove green chilies! I had some that were diced and some whole, so I used both. I diced up the whole ones, of course.

It made for a LOT of green chilies, but I really don’t mind. On the contrary, I enjoy it!

I mixed in six eggs and started stirring for a good scramble.

It might not be the prettiest thing, but it is filling and good!

These are the wraps I use. They’re HUGE.

Not only huge, but they’re only 70 calories! Honestly, I shudder to think how they made such a large tortilla that only has 70 calories, but I’m trying to eat fewer carbs, so this is what I’m doing.


We have Costco shredded cheese, so I put in what is apparently a serving: 1/3 cup. I think somebody in Costco likes me.

I work four days in a row, hence four burritos. The tortillas are toasted and the cheese is getting melty. Time to add the egg and chili scramble!

That is a monster breakfast burrito! I added Tapatio for more flavor and voila!

Rolled up and stacked in the refrigerator, I only have to take one out and heat it on the skillet (in the foil) to have a burrito to go. We don’t have a microwave, but it’s better heated up like this than in a microwave.

While I was at the store, I saw these Kettle & Fire Keto soups, so I thought I’d try them out! They’re kind of on the expensive side, so I have hope that they’re delicious. I also grabbed a butternut squash soup, which I don’t believe is super low carb. It is only 90 calories per serving, however, and when I eat two servings on my lunch, I don’t feel bad at all! I also bulked it up with some mushrooms, salsa, and added sriracha for fun.

I’ve had one of the breakfast burritos yesterday just before work, and it kept me full for a LONG time! The soup was perfect (and hotter than expected) and kept me filled up for the rest of the shift.

If you’d like to know the details on each breakfast burrito, here you go!
Calories: 307
Fat: 18.1g
Net Carbs: 11.5g
Protein: 25.4g

If you try it out, let me know in the comments! I already have plans for a chorizo burrito and more… YUM!