It’s crazy to think I started this blog just over a year ago and have hardly used it. I keep meaning to. I really do. Then I get distracted. Majorly distracted. I’ll be driving to and from places in my car and think of something I’d like to write about or share. I come up with the best stuff (at least it sounds great when I speak it out loud). Then I get to my destination and get thrown off course. Next thing I know it’s been several weeks and I can’t remember just what I was going to write about. Bam! It’s gone for good. I’m sure everyone has had similar problems.

Life has been busy though. Started off hosting a Japanese college student from Sapporo for a month, then 250 hours of overtime at work for 3 months straight, income tax classes, doing taxes during tax season, then I bought my condo, so it’s not entirely surprising that I keep getting distracted. There were so many things on my plate to juggle and keep the timelines straight. I wasn’t the only one that would be affected if I didn’t. Now, aside from getting my condo set in order and taking my continuing education courses for the pharmacy and the tax office, I can finally work on all of the projects I’ve let build up over the last year. And there are quite a few of them. All nicely packed from the move and just waiting for their turn.

I did finally get to one last night in fact. I took a break from the painting and unpacking to try a couple of new recipes that I’ve been eyeing. With my kitchen in near working order I felt it was time to treat myself. Now I can share them.

Avacado Salad with Bacon, Chicken, & Egg Salad

I took a couple of Paleo recipes that sounded pretty interesting. I have to say, I really don’t think that I could ever go full Paleo. I love my breads, pastas, Mt Dew, and such just a little too much. But I’ve discovered lately that there are some really good recipes out there that are Paleo or even just in the gluten free category that are delicious too. There’s nothing wrong with substituting a carb filled meal with a Paleo or gluten free one once in a while. Right? I ended up tweaking them just a little, but they turned out really delicious. They were way more filling than I had originally anticipated, so of course I ended up with a ton of leftovers. A couple of my co-workers in the pharmacy will be pleased though. They are obsessed with eating healthy, and these both fit the bill splendidly. (As a side note, they ended up eating their portions while I was putting this together during my lunch, and yes, they were very satisfied with their surprise lunch.)

Avacado Salad

Avocado Salad

Serves: 2


First up is the Avocado Salad served up in it’s own shell. I was surprised with how filling it was & how fast it disappeared from my plate.


  • ¬†1 whole ripe avocado, cut in half
  • 2-4 strips of bacon (depends on how much you like bacon)
  • 1 whole egg (hard boiled & diced)
  • 1/4-1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise

Dice bacon and fry in pan with onions until cooked.

Scoop out avocado flesh from the shell and in a bowl mash the flesh until smooth. Save the shells.

Add bacon, onions, mustard, and mayonnaise. Stir together until it is well combined. Then lightly fold in the diced egg.

To serve, spoon the mixture back into the avocado shells and enjoy.


Mushroom & Egg Salad

Mushroom, Bacon & Egg Salad

Serves: 4


This one was altered the most. Added a few things and took away a few things. Basically, I just used the original as an idea to come up with my own salad mix. I probably wouldn’t have thought of it on my own, but it’s mine now.


 

  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and diced
  • 1 chicken breast, diced or shredded (realistically you can use any type of meat)
  • 1/2-1 orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salad greens (optional)
  • Feta cheese (optional)

In a pan on medium heat, fry the bacon and onion in oil until they are lightly browned. Remove from heat. Place in a medium-large bowl and set aside.

Return the pan to heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, garlic, and peppers. Cook until done. Remove from heat.

Add mushroom mixture to the bowl with the bacon and onions. Add the diced eggs and combine well.

Toss with some salad greens and feta cheese if desired. Another option is to spoon over a bed of salad greens and add the feta on top. Or just eat it by itself. Whatever works for you. Just enjoy.

I tried making Liz’s French Macarons last night for the first time. The recipe seemed easy enough, it was my oven that proved to be troublesome. Getting everything onto the cookie sheets was fairly easy. Liz provided plenty of pictures with her recipe, which helps when you consider I learn best by watching.

My problem was that I just couldn’t seem to cook them long enough. I had to throw out the first sheet I had baked. They just never seemed to bake all the way through. But perhaps that was because I was using a baking stone. I know not to use an airbake cookie sheet, but wasn’t sure the baking stone would be a problem or not. Either way, the dough just wouldn’t cook right, and they wouldn’t come off of the wax paper.

The second sheet that came out seemed better, but I still felt like they weren’t cooked enough. Then the third sheet came out and I had cooked them too long. They ended up coming out crunchy. Whoops!

My fourth sheet of cookies cooked the right amount of time, I just forgot to let them sit out for a bit before baking them, so they didn’t form the nice little shell that makes them look right. Then I seemed to get it just right with the fifth sheet of these delicious little cookies. They looked right, and they had cooked properly. Hurray! Finally. Whew.

I put the dark chocolate ganache on and put them into the fridge overnight. Below is the finish product of cookie sheets 2-5.

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Then I had my neighbors test them out in the morning. (Don’t worry…I bake a lot here, and they begged to be my guinea pigs…didn’t stop me from being nervous that they wouldn’t taste good.) My fears were wasted though. Even the crunchy ones were gobbled up by them. The cookies from the last sheet were the favorite, but they each asked to take some of the others home to munch on later. So at least I know that they were edible. The youngest boy next door keeps knocking on my door to see if I have more. Good to know they were happy with my efforts. Even I enjoyed them.

I promptly took the rest of the best two sheets up to the Hill for my friend to have, and was rewarded by having him squeal in delight at the bag of cookies. Good. Though he said my true test would be to make a batch and take them to Seattle for the master to test. I told him I needed more practice first. So…what am I doing the very next night. Yeah…baking more French Macarons. At least I know they will be tasty, and my co-workers will appreciate them tomorrow morning.

Here is a link to the original recipe. Deliciousness in such a tiny package. Liz’s French Macaron Protocol And below, you will find my second attempt. They still aren’t perfect, but they look loads better than my first attempt. Though I did try using the baking stone again, and found that while the cookie did cook, for some reason the bottom would not cook right. It just wouldn’t harden on the bottom at all and I found that the wax paper sort of just melded with the cookies. I was only able to salvage three halves out of twelve that were on the cookie sheet. So note to self…airbake cookie sheets and baking stone cookie sheets are out of the question when making macarons. They are fine for regular cookies, just not these delicate morsels. I think I’ll definitely stick to using the regular cookie sheets next time.

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Here is to my first time blogging.

So I suppose a little history is in order to explain Dragon Born Deinera.

First of all…Dragons. How can you go wrong there. But I do love them. They are fierce and magnificent, and I can only hope to befriend one someday.

Next up…Deinera. Deinera Nailo was the name of my first elf in D&D. I still remember walking back to my dorm room when Stephan pretty much abducted me asked me if I wanted to join play some D&D. My response was, “What is that?” Lets just say it was all down hill from there. That D&D group was a huge life saver for me. They really helped me to come out of my shell and actually interact with people rather than just watch. I doubt most of them even realized that they had done that. I didn’t even realize it until many years later. And to me Deinera was part of that catalyst. I’ve continued to use her ever since. World of Warcraft, X-Box, PlayStation, Valor, and other role playing games. She’s my gamer identity I suppose, but she is also that persona that helped me learn to interact outside of my own experiences. She’s bolder, more aggressive, and fiercely loyal. Even a little bit crazy. Though that might be the real me rubbing off on her. Perhaps in time some of her will rub off onto me.

Here I am now. I feel like so much is going on, and I just want to share some of it. I want to write about it and push up from there. This summer looks like it could be really exciting. Scary, but exciting. So, here is to riding out the waves and coming out on the other side. First project up…Liz’s French Macaron Protocol.