Sunday, July 27, 2014

Please Welcome Guest Tracy Weber!

Let's hear it for our guest today, Tracy Weber.  She claims she can't cook, but she is a master smoothie mixer and a great writer!  I think you will enjoy getting to know her.

Kitchen Nightmares—Yoga Teacher Style

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll agree: I’m the last person on earth who should write about cooking. Eating, now that’s a subject I can get behind.  But cooking?  Let’s just say that my version of having guests over for dinner involves reservations, a waitress, and my husband’s credit card.
Think I’m exaggerating?  My house has a Viking oven. (People tell me this is a good thing.) It was installed by the house’s prior owner.  I have used it exactly three times in the eight years we’ve lived here without supervision.  Once while my husband was gone for the night, I made grilled eggplant. I had a fever at the time, which is the only logical explanation for why everything turned out OK.  The other two times, I tried to boil water for tea.  In both cases, I accidentally left the gas burner on—open flame style—for over six hours until my husband came home from work.  Two other times, even though supervised, I managed to catch a dishtowel on fire.
I’m no longer allowed to use the stove. Period.
I have, however, jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon.
My husband and I had dinner with a friend—at her house, of course—a few months ago. She gushed so much over her new Vitamix that my husband immediately ordered one when we got home.  What could go wrong, I reasoned?  Any numbskull can throw a few vegetables in a blender.
Let’s just say things don’t always go as planned.  One time I added waaaaay too much soap when I cleaned it; another, I forgot to put on the lid.  My kitchen has seen more than one smoothie disaster, and my Facebook friends worry that I’ll soon chop off a finger.  But in spite of a couple of requests that I stop posting my recipes (one Facebook friend says they make her feel nauseated) I love my new countertop friend. I have at least a dozen smoothie recipe books, and I’ve never used one of them.
Some of my creations are pure disasters, more akin to sewage sludge than food.  Some of them are delicious. Some of them are, as my husband phrases it, “interesting.”  But I’m having a great time with my creations, and the chances of my burning down our house making them are pretty darned slim.  If you’re incompetent in the kitchen like I am, I highly recommend trying this fun kitchen tool.  If nothing else, you’ll have great stories to share with your grandkids.
And if you’re wondering what any of this has to do with my yoga teacher sleuth in Murder Strikes a Pose, well, nothing.  She’s as incompetent in the kitchen as I am.  But I’m considering starting a second, smoothie-related series.  What do you think of the first title: Blended to Death?
In the meantime, here’s a gazpacho-like creation from the incompetent kitchen of Tracy.  Lots of fiber, more vitamins than you can shake a stick at, and a little bit of a kick, to boot!

Tracy’s Kick-Butt Gazpacho Smoothie

·         1 large tomato

·         1 small stalk celery

·         1 medium red bell pepper

·         ½ English cucumber

·         1 - 2 handfuls of arugula

·         2 cloves of garlic (1 if you’re bashful or have a hot date.)

·         2 pinches of salt

·         Several whole black peppercorns

·         5 – 10 ice cubes, depending on desired temperature

·         1 – 2 pinches of cayenne pepper, if  you like extra kick

Blend to desired consistency.

It’s spicy and if you’re not careful, it might bite back, but it’s the perfect use for all of those great summer vegetables.

I hope you like it, and if not, well, I warned you. I’m a terrible cook!
Tracy Weber      

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT is available for preorder now from Whole Life Yoga. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and book sellers everywhere


  1. LOL, loved your story!!!! I'm so jealous of your Viking, and to think you don't use it!!???? I've been making gazpacho lately and my son just asked what if I put all the ingredients in the Vitamix. Actually, I've only done that with leftover tossed salad - it's 'interesting'. Your recipe sounds delicious and easy - all the flavors of gazpacho with none of the chopping. The garden is overflowing with tomatoes......your smoothie is on the menu.

  2. Welcome to MLK Tracy! Maybe you could arrange to ship that Viking to one of us? a new raffle?

  3. If you can't cook salads are good for the summer. No stove required.

  4. LOL, I'll swap stoves with you. I'd love that Viking! I'm not big into veggies (sad, I know) but I'd love some fruit smoothies!

  5. Love your stories, Tracy! I'm a pretty good cook now, but I've had some interesting "events" along the way! Like the time I was making pork loin in brandy and tried to light the brandy to burn off the alcohol--I ended up lighting my bangs on fire! I'm with everyone else, if you don't want that Viking...Meanwhile this sounds like the perfect thing to whip up for a summer lunch!

  6. Thank for joining us today, Tracy. We covet your Viking! Your smoothie sounds delicious. Why do I think a splash of vodka might be good in it?


  7. Joining the stove envy, lol! You're a good sport for striking a cooking pose today in our kitchen, Tracy, thanks for coming--and I just love your smoothie recipe. May you eat with joy and in good health! ~ Cleo

  8. Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone! YES--a splash of vodka might be just the thing for that smoothie. ;-)

  9. Tracy, I love your story. You always make me smile! I love the title for the new series too! And this smoothie sounds delicious!

  10. I love your smoothie recipes! You're so willing to try anything. And then post the result!
    Gives me ideas I might not have thought of.
    I hate cooking with a passion, so I never cook either. :)

  11. Thanks, ladies! I'm teaching most of the day and into evening today, so I won't be able to check comments as often as I would like, but I'll be back later today! Life is an smoothies are no exception!

  12. Thanks to my son, I do not have a blender (over the years he broke one and lost the lid to the other). I do have an immersion blender and a food processor, however.
    Which is to say, this gazpacho idea sounds quite tasty.

  13. Tracy, fun post! You are very similar to the character I've written in the Cookbook Nook mysteries. she can't cook, but she's learning, slowly but surely with 5 ingredient recipes. She could definitely attempt this smoothie! :)

    Have fun with your series & the new smoothie series if it comes to be.

    Daryl / Avery

  14. Thanks Daryl! I've read your cheese shop series, but not the cookbook nook one. Now I can't wait! Libby, I hope you try it. If you do, let me know how you like it!