Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Bake Crustless Peach Pie

No Bake Crustless Peach Pie

In a hurry, unexpected guests, craving something sweet and southern?  The other night, we were in the predicament of all of these combined!  What to do?  Easy Peasy!  In the amount of time it takes to prepare and brew a pot of coffee, this dessert can be made. This no bake crustless pie can be made with just about anything you have on hand.

1 Can Peaches
1 Bag Frozen Peaches (Thawed)
1 Tablespoon Tapioca Starch
Crushed cereal or wheat-free granola sprinkled on top

This was one of those times I'd wished we'd had some vegan whipped topping.  Yum!  Now I'm wondering if it should be a staple in the refrigerator.  Hmm.

Peaches in the SkilletAnyways, back to dessert, open up a can of peaches (sugar free and packed in natural juices) and drain the juice into the skillet.  Add the starch to the juice and heat, stirring until it thickens.  Then add the can of peaches and open up the bag of peaches and add them too.  This night, my peaches weren't thawed but I added them to the skillet and as you can see by the picture, everything turned out fine.  The real pretty peaches were the ones that were frozen and now thawed from the heat.  (We'll talk about the benefits of frozen, fresh, and canned at another time).

Like I said, this is a very quick and not too sweet of a dessert.  In fact, no sugar was added to this because the canned peaches were actually packed with Splenda.

Try this with apples or mixed berries!  Do you have a quick and easy go-to dessert?  How have you learned to enjoy dessert being gluten-free?

I'm linking with Comfy in the Kitchen

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mother's Day Celebration Ideas

You're Invited to a Special Mother's Day Celebration

Mother's Day Flowers

When: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Where: Restaurant, Tea House, Your Back Yard
Time: Brunch, Lunch, High Tea

Mother's Day is coming up soon and are you ready?  If you're not, or you need a little help with ideas, or simply want to add a special touch to what you already have planned, here are some links.

Things to do, Where to Begin:

  • Start your special celebration with beautiful or fun invitations by evite.
  • The Campbell House located in Eugene, Oregon is hosting a Mother's Day Victorian High Tea & Historic Homes Tour.  Don't live in Oregon, no problem -- Host your own Historic Homes Tour.
  • Tour a local Winery.
  • See if any of the local Gardens are hosting an event. 
  •, the "Fast Find" Web Guide has a list of ideas and links to help plan a party from the invitations to table settings and menus.
  • If you're looking for a special restaurant to host your brunch or lunch, Gayot (Pronounced guy-OH) has an extensive list of places by location.  If there is a nice location but not exactly in your city, how about an overnight celebration?  Make it a "Mother's Weekend"!
  • In preparation for this special occasion, Tip Junkie has links to some beautiful homemade gift ideas or try these wonderful body scrubs by A Delightful Home

Have a wonderful Mother's Day Celebration!

How did you celebrate?  If you took pictures, sent out invitations, planned a special menu, please share with us.  Leave a comment below and link to your website or blog.  Don't have a website or blog?  No problem, email me [(Substance of Living @ be sure to remove the spaces for the correct email address] and I will share your pictures and ideas.

What would you do differently next year?  Did you have a specific theme?  Can't wait to hear all about your day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Black Dahlia

Have you seen the TV series "Revenge"?  In the first season, Amanda makes a drink for Jack poolside at Nolan's house or should I say beach-side mansion.  It sounded yummy and not remembering precisely what was in it besides three parts vodka, one part something else and then a splash of another thing, I decided to look it up in this wonderful place called "The Internet".

Did you know that this drink actually has a dark side to it?  Really, not just the color or the fact that Amanda had killed a man with a tire iron the night before sharing this drink with Jack but "The Black Dahlia" is the name given to Elizabeth Short by the newspapers after her gruesome death in 1947 where her body was found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.

According to Imbibe Magazine The Gallery Bar was the last known location that Elizabeth Short was seen alive.

My version of The Black Dahlia is a combination of Amanda and The Gallery Bar's recipe.

3 Parts Vodka
1 Part Blackberry Liqueur
1 Part Coffee Liqueur

This is nice served over ice or chilled and served in a Martini or any fancy stem glass.

If you didn't see the show, Curt Wagner of Redeye describes how to make the drink exactly as Amanda explains.

P.S., I used Kettle One Vodka, Chambord Liqueur, and Kahlua.  This would make a nice signature drink for gatherings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charities for 2012

I’m a firm believer in charities and helping those that are less fortunate.  However, in recent (and not so recent) years we have heard about unscrupulous people at these charities or that barely a fraction of a cent goes to the actual cause.  I suppose, in essence, these cases have helped me narrow my charity contributions to perhaps a handful of truly good causes.

Not only are these good causes, in my humble opinion, but also they actually help in my surrounding community.  My time, money, or goods provided stay local.  If I’m going to concentrate on buying local, helping out farmers or artisans then shouldn’t I help those in need locally as well?  I’ve recently seen a lot of articles about buying locally and figured I’d do my share.

One of my personal goals this year is to weed my closet.  I did really well last year gathering up books, throw pillows, nick-knacks, etc. and boxing them.  (There are numerous books about going through our belongings and how to get rid of them.  In fact, I believe there are professionals that will come to our home or office and help us.)  Now that I haven’t looked in the boxes for a while, it’s time to figure out where to pass these items along.

I think I’ll take my books that are mainly novels or biographies over to a Senior Center or perhaps a retirement home.  As for my other items, they will be disbursed throughout charities. and are two sites to find local charities or to find out about a particular organization is a great place to pass along your old business suits, ties, dress shirts, shoes, or to help out with interview tips is a Food Bank Locator and are fantastic organizations if you want to help animals of all types helps women by providing attire, support, and career developmental tools is the store associated with Habitat for Humanity where home supplies such as cabinets, doors, furniture, sinks, etc. can be taken from your remodeling or building projects and passed along to help others and (Salvation Army) are organizations that most all of us are familiar

Do you have office or art supplies lying around your house that you no longer need or use?  How about donating to the “Drop and Run” program at a local school or to a particular teacher in your area?  All you do is bag your slightly used papers, pens, markers, stapler, etc – it doesn’t matter if the paper is discolored or curled at the edges – and drop it off.  The teachers and of course students will be greatly appreciative of these supplies.  Who knows, that discolored paper just might inspire the next great artist or the slightly used pencil will go to a child who doesn’t have the money to purchase one.

There are other very worthy causes and charities I'm not aware of, so if you know of any, please post them below or let me know and I'll be sure to share them as well.

Thank you,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vegetarian Burgers

Vegetarian Burgers


Organic TruRoots Sprouted Bean Trio 

2 Cups Dry Organic TruRoots Sprouted Bean Trio
6 Cups Water

Cook the beans as directed on the package and allow to cool for about an hour


1 Cup Cooked Beans
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Cornmeal
Organic TruRoots Sprouted Bean Trio1Tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Flakes
1/8 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Medium Onion chopped
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Mix well in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl adding the remaining beans.  Combine the ingredients, cover the bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator 1-4 hours before cooking.

Vegetarian Burgers
This recipe will make over 8 nice sized burgers.  Cook each side for about 6 minutes.  Serve as you would any other burger.

If you’d like to freeze the cooked burgers, wrap them individually and place them all in a container and freeze.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


One of my favorite websites is Sew4Home.  I’ve been following their inspirations for over two years now and they continue to come up with new projects I have to try.  Now that my lovely husband and I will be moving into a new home, it is time to prioritize the projects and showcase them.  We will need window treatments, new or rejuvenated bath linens, beautiful storage solutions and many more items that are making my head spin.
As of today we are choosing the paint colors for the walls.  We picked up swatches yesterday and have way too many to share at this point.  We do know that we want light colors, ones that will remind us of coastal, Mediterranean, comfortable living.

Our goal once we are done, if that is really ever a possibility :-), is to have the kick-off-your-shoes casual elegance where those who enter feel comfortable and welcome.  We will share more as the building and decorating process continues.

How did you decorate your home?  What areas gave you the most thought or concern?  What do you love about your home and why?  Please share your thoughts, as we certainly aren’t interior designers and always looking for input.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Throw Those Instructions Away!

Throw those instructions away!  Who reads them anyway?

Can you imagine if our lives came with instructions?  I don’t know about you but my instructions would be so stained, tattered, and marked up and not because I’m following them!  They would be that way because I need a coaster for my drink, a scrap piece of paper to write a note, or tattered because of all the uses (other than intended).

Let’s forget about what “They” think we should do with our lives.  So what if we enjoy taking a day off and doing nothing but lounging around or spending the entire day in the garage or shopping?  It’s our form of a mental vacation and don’t we deserve to be selfish once in a while and take care of “Numero Uno”?  When we are super-charged, we are more equipped to handle everything else that pops up.

Have you ever wanted to start a side business or a build a shed?  Did you keep your dreams quiet or did you go out and SHOUT it out to the world?  OK, I’m with you, some things we need to keep mum about and go on our merry way.  That’s why niche neighborhoods have popped up all over the Internet.  We have created our own little world and what a FABULOUS world we have.

So, take a moment and revel in your personal blue print you call “Life”.  You are a caring, responsible, fun, exciting, life-living person!

How are you going to spend your next “mental vacation”?  Please tell us below or let’s see if we can brainstorm together.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Dinner 2012

This year, I’m trying something new for our Easter dinner.  We often find ourselves going out to eat and for some reason it feels like the day lost a little of its meaning.  I know the day is about Jesus and of course family and it doesn’t really matter where we eat except what about the employees who have to serve us?  What about their family?

We are going to stay home and have some of our neighbors come over.  We will start our dinner with crisp baguettes (wheat-free/gluten-free bread cut into quarters and double toasted in the oven with olive oil) layered high with a fresh oregano or mint leaf, roma tomato slice and olive tapenade.

For our main dish there will be a soufflĂ© (if you haven’t tried your hand at one yet, here is a simple version) and served with grilled asparagus spears drizzled with lemon juice.

Throughout the afternoon/evening a platter of fresh fruit and cheeses will be available as well as some Riesling wine and iced tea.

How can dinner possibly be complete without dessert?  I think maybe a nice sorbet or roasted pear.

How will you spend Easter this year?  Do you have a family tradition?  Have you tried having a holiday dinner or special occasion dinner without the presence of meat?

***Happy Easter***

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Life

Welcome to YOUR New Life.

Today is the beginning of a great adventure and together we will delve into goals, turn dreams into reality, research investments, host events, organize our homes, and many other things life tends to bring our way.

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift
That is why it is called the present
- Eleanor Roosevelt

We will be sure to look at recipes and compare the original with a lighter version.  We will read books together.  We will learn how to live within a budget and live like royalty!

What topics would you like to discuss?  Politics? Animal care? Children?  This site is all about and for you so let’s makes it a great place to enjoy over a cup of coffee or an afternoon tea.