Look out for loquats


Loquats are delicate, delicious and a bit difficult to find. (Photo by Laura Groch)

A community church group was selling loquats recently, five yellow, larger-than-a-grape-but-smaller-than-an-apricot fruits for a dollar. So I took home a bag.

They seemed ripe enough, softish to the touch, but I really didn’t know much about them. Taking a knife to them, I was able to pull off the fuzzy peel without Continue reading


For moms, and the other mothers, too

Mother's Day, mothers, aunts

Not everyone who mothers you is a mom, but they deserve saluting today too. Pictured: Mom, me and my godmother/aunt Rita.


Happy Mother’s Day: Mom, me and my godmother/aunt Rita.

Yes, today is Mother’s Day. You all know what to do about that, I hope. ;<) I’d like to also salute those women who were stand-ins or surrogates or subs or whatever to us. We’ve all had them in our lives: aunts, sisters, cousins, godmothers, neighbors, co-workers, neighbors, friends’ moms, teachers, etc. Not all of them are mothers, but they each serve that role in a small or large way. Give them a thought, a prayer, or if they’re still with you, a call or email. If they’ve been like moms to you, please include them in this day, too. And to all of you reading, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.


(c) copyright Laura Groch 2014

Lots of causes this weekend, and Mother’s Day too!

letter carriers food drive

Don’t forget the food drive this Saturday! (Courtesy http://www.nalc.org)

Some fun happenings in our area and beyond for Mother’s Day weekend:

— Food for the needy will be collected by mail carriers around the country on Saturday, May 10, during the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Just place nonperishable or canned goods in a bag and leave it near or in your mailbox. The letter carriers will pick them up and deliver them to local food banks and other organizations that help battle hunger. So please, reach into that pantry and fill a bag. (It’s a nice way to do some nurturing on  Mother’s Day weekend!)

Continue reading

Thrifty/Nifty: Salad and sandwich makers, here’s a way to get it together

thrifty, nifty, consumer help, techniques, time-savers, veggies

All together now: Keep your sandwich/salad players in one container to speed your kitchen preparation. (Photo by Laura Groch)

I make a lot of sandwiches, and a lot of salads. Besides your basic greens, I add a lot of veggies to both: onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, radishes. I was forever searching in my fridge for each ingredient, which I had thoughtfully stored in its own little ex-cream cheese or hummus or butter tub.

One day I bought some new containers on sale (of course), in a larger size. Continue reading

Winners and winners

gluten-free breakfasts, gluten-free cooking, cookbooks, Linda J. Amendt

Murrieta, CA, author Linda J. Amendt’s book on gluten-free breakfasts recently won two awards.

The winners of the CLIF Bar giveaway held in March 2014 were Pam W. of Escondido, Karen B. of New Albany, IN, and Leah S. of Minneapolis. Each one received a box of CLIF bars for posting a comment at the contest page on my blog, http://www.beyondbites.com. Keep watching for the next giveaway, as you might be a winner!

Another winner was Murrieta author Linda J. Amendt, author of “Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond” (Taunton Press, $19.95, 2013), who was featured in the blog in September 2013. (Read the interview at

https://beyondbites.com/2013/09/16/gluten-free-at-breakfast-cookbook-author-can-tell-you-how/).) Her cookbook recently won two honors: a Gold Award in Continue reading