Healthy Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Soy for Serious Eaters

2024 February: The Rollercoaster Month of the year!

2024 February: The Rollercoaster Month of the year!


Where did the time go? Seriously, folks, I feel like we’ve been around the world and back in a day. Thank goodness for pictures. This month, we were constantly on the move with unexpected adventures. If I remember right, I ended my last month’s post arriving in Borrego Springs. It was lovely but a bit chilly. We stayed in the best Airbnb for ten days, and the family had time to join us for a few days. They stayed in their camper at one of our favorite campgrounds, The Springs at Borrego. 

We even got some exercise in the water aerobics!

Albert shared about the tradition of Kings Cake before they took off back to San Diego. This cake was delicious, and yes, I had to try it.

We spent the rest of our stay in Borrego visiting our camping crew. I played a short game of golf with Gay and Dan and then celebrated with a perfect dinner and margarita!

We also had a wonderful appetizer dinner with new friends at Jack and Marlena.

Some days, we did have sun, and we took advantage of the opportunity to get out and about. We drove an hour to walk to some oasis we’d never been hiked. By the time we had walked an hour, the plans never were on the horizon. 

We returned to the car and map to figure out where we were. We had parked too soon and needed to head further down the road to find the trail. So off we went for another hour-hike. This time, we were lucky.

We were lucky to have the blue sky again one day and headed to Julian to peek around. I love this quaint old town. It is definitely worth a look-see if you are ever in this neck of the woods.

We said goodbye to the blue sky and dear friends and took the return rollercoaster ride back to San Diego to our cute Airbnb around the corner of my daughter’s home. As we headed home, Lutz began to feel sick and, within a couple of days, had a full-blown chest cold. No COVID, but three bottles of Musenix didn’t even phase it. He coughed like a fog horn for weeks. Thank goodness for our little kitchen so I could make soup.

Lutz slowly recovered, but the cough remained. He was well enough to entertain the grandkids and my son, who has come full circle from San Diego to Washington to South Carolina and back home to San Diego over ten years.

Spending time with the whole family in one place was so great. It’s been a while, and there was much catching up and hugs. Jarrod and Ruby have become good guitar players, and Eva is a piano professional. Jam sessions were in order, of course.

Ruby has taken a serious notion for the instrument, and several of her friends also play. It was so strange to see this little girl who played dress-ups playing serious music!

Being with family is a gift; my daughter and her husband take it seriously. Family nights are hopping! Albert got a new pizza oven for Christmas. We had a family pizza cooking evening and made our own. Even a gluten-free one for Oma! 

We went to Balboa Park and walked around to see what was up. Albert treated us to lunch, and it was delicious! This park is next to the San Diego Zoo and is a great place to explore if you visit San Diego.

One special occasion we attended with great pride was Albert’s daughter Jessica’s baby shower. She was eight when she came to live with Albert and Jericho. Seeing her as a young lady with a loving partner, Christian made me proud. This will be Albert and Jericho’s first grandchild!

The shower was a blast. The food is out of this world. Albert’s dad, Enrique, was in charge of the cooking. He makes the best Mexican food in town. I would attend any event where he was the chef to eat his homemade tamales and pozole soups.

The theme was dinosaurs, and little Leo’s cake was so cute.

Plans were made for a San Dieguito High School gathering at Tony’s in Solano Beach—our old stomping grounds. Kathy Stanton, our High School keeper-of-the-email addresses, got to work finding folks for the event. A pre-meeting was held to make sure all was on track. Sara was able to join us to keep us in line!

Kathy did an amazing job finding souls and setting it up—a great way to get in another Mexican meal and rattle our brains for names and memories.

I am pleased that most of my “old” friends follow my fashion trend and have chosen the same hair color! Only Leslie is natural, but time will tell!

We hooked up with Jim Lischer, a lifeguard for my dad, and his wife Michelle for lunch. They are planning a European trip, and we discuss their travel plans. Michelle is one informative traveler!

Speaking of my dad, we had to take a ride to Del Mar and visit the beach. Many of my teen years were spent at this beach! Even the days we ditched school. 

My dad always said if you’re going to ditch school, at least come to my beach so I can keep an eye on you!

We even made a special trip to visit Jack Ross, who was also a lifeguard with my dad and captain after my dad retired. His wife, Barb, is an amazing lady and is also gluten-free. And gave me some gluten-free sourdough starter to bring back to Germany! Cross fingers, everyone.

While in Encinitas visiting Jack and Barb, we had to make a stop at VG’s Donuts. I was friends with Ann Matee, whose family owned the shop. I worked nights and early mornings before school with her father, Mr Matee. Today, it is the best spot in Southern California for homemade donuts and treats, especially for the surfing community! I asked if the family still owned it and was told that Mr Matee’s sons work in the shop and his granddaughter also works there. It’s unbelievable how time flies. YES, I took a bite, which sent me back fifty years. Memories of happy days in high school flooded in.

One of our favorite restaurants in San Diego is The Blue Water Seafood. This place is amazing, and fresh fish is locally caught. You have to arrive by 4:30 pm if you are planning on dinner. By 6 pm, the line wraps around the building, but it’s worth the wait. Trust me. Lutz was in heaven with his clams and muscle soup.

My dad always said it was seagull food, so I prefer the fresh fish and salad plate!

As you all know, there was major flooding here in San Diego and some serious emergencies! We battened down the hatches and stayed put. The girl’s school announced an early pickup due to water leaks and no electricity. 

I’ve read my friend’s posts in Germany and know it is cold and snowy. We got a report regarding our home in Germany that the winds were so bad that the wall of glass we had installed between our neighbor’s apartments shattered—crazy strong winds. Thank goodness for insurance; no one was hurt.

We celebrated Lutz’s birthday with the family and the girls singing in German. The strawberry chocolate cream cake was amazing! 

What a perfect gift for his birthday: a very Californian golf shirt and a new hat with special embroidery. (#1Opa)

It was Opa’s special day, and we were off for the traditional round-the-bay bike ride.

Mission Bay is the perfect spot for people-watching and getting in some exercise.

A game of golf was in order for Lutz, Jarrod, and Albert! Lutz looks so professional. But the scores speak otherwise—sorry, birthday boy.

Our last days were slipping away quickly. Just when we thought our adventures were coming to a close, things started to pick up. The cold we all thought Ruby had turned into COVID and Lutz’s cough continued to be just that, thank goodness. Little Leo decided to come early, and our last day was spent holding this little nugget! Poor Ruby couldn’t visit due to COVID, and Eva was too young to go with us.

Air hugs were shared, and tears came as we said our goodbyes. It was time to head to the airport and make the long trip home. Our flight was fifteen hours to Munich and then a connection to Frankfurt.

Upon arriving in Frankfurt, we rushed to the train station for a two-hour ride to Wolfach. Many trains were delayed due to vandalism on the tracks, and our two-hour train ride home turned into five hours. It took us over thirty hours to drop off the rental car in San Diego and arrive home in Germany. I’m too old for this stuff.

We finally got off this fast and furious-rollercoaster and made it home to our beautiful gift of flowers and pizza from Doris, Lutz’s sister. And a stack of mail!

 We are looking forward to next week. We will take off for a snow trip with Lutz’s oldest son and his family next week.

I’ll return next month with more exciting travels, recipes, and resources.

Fave Recipe: Apricot Orange Ginger Bites

Valentine’s day is coming up, and here are some easy, delicious ways to celebrate with someone you love! Here are a few more you might want to check out:

Little Chunks

Creamy Coconut Lime Pie

Fave Resource: Why People Get The Wrong Cholesterol Test

Cholesterol seems to be a touchy topic these days. With more recent research, many people are questioning the use of statins for controlling it. This video with Dr. Elizabeth Boham and Dr. Hyman is a must-watch for those concerned with their cholesterol testing.

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