GABBY COOKS – mac & cheese

Clean & serene living means learning healthy habits and good eating.  And I love recipes that are quick and simple.  Here’s one of my new favorites.

What’s more comforting than home-made macaroni and cheese?  And even better is this stove-top recipe which eliminates a baking dish and a 45 minute wait while it bakes in the oven.  This dish is table ready in 12 minutes.

These are the ingredients



Image result for mueller's pasta

  1. (2) cups dry elbow macaroni
  2. (4) quarts water salted like the sea and brought to a rapid boil
  3. (4) tbsp. unsalted butter
  4. (2) tbsp. flour
  5. up to 3 cups milk
  6. (2) cups sharp cheddar cheese shreds
  7. salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot bring the 4 quarts salted water to a boil
  2. Cook the macaroni as directed on the package
  3. In a saucepan melt the butter over a low heat
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir for several minutes
  5. When it turns golden, add about 1 cup milk and stir again
  6. Stir until the sauce turns creamy and increase the heat to a medium low
  7. Add more milk until it is creamy and smooth
  8. Add the cheese and stir again until it is thoroughly blended
  9. Salt and pepper as desired
  10. When macaroni is done ladle it out into the cheese sauce with a slotted spoon
  11. Blend until the pasta is evenly coated.
  12. If the macaroni and cheese is too thick and gooey add a spoonful at a time of the pasta water until it is deliciously creamy and smooth

dead or insane

Clean and serene in a crazy world


Okay, so the chains of addiction have been broken and life as a sober man is beyond any high ever experienced.  Gone are the hangovers, the headaches, the retching, the lies, the fears, the pain, the loneliness, the self-loathing, the searching, the desperation.  Gone are the thoughts of suicide, the fits of anger, the desire to hurt another person.  All that is in the past – or is it?

Just because I am not drinking or drugging does not mean I am normal and healthy.  My demons continue to reside in that space within waiting an opportunity to emerge and control just as before.  Alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful.  My disease wants to see me dead or insane.  Have I accepted that?  Or do I entertain the thought that maybe after years of sobriety I could possibly drink again – only this time as a social drinker?

Several of my dear friends thought so.  They went out to do more field research.  A few returned to the fellowship to tell me about it, but some did not.  Some died in accidents, some died from cirrhosis or other alcohol-related health issues, some overdosed, some committed suicide.  I am not willing to take that risk to learn if I  have become a social drinker.  Why would I?  Life is too good and there is too much work to be done in my remaining years.

It’s all about commitment.  My commitment to sobriety and my Higher Power is infinitely stronger today than my innate tendency to be addicted.  I refuse to believe that I am cured.  That brokenness which led me through 17 years of alcoholic insanity is continuing to be healed, but I am not yet cured.  That cure will take place on the day I take my last breath in this life.  Then I can claim freedom and perfection.

“No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.  We are not saints.  The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines.  We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.”  pg 60 ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

smiley face 2


Meredith Bell

staying clean and serene in a crazy world


“When was the last time you woke up and wished you’d had just one more drink the night before?

I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you’ll get through anything.”
Meredith Bell, Seven Days Sober: A Guide to Discovering What You Really Think About Your Drinking

I could never understand social drinkers.  They have one of two cocktails or a few beers and go home.  They go to bed at a reasonable hour, wake up refreshed, and powerlesshave a wonderful day doing what most sober people do.  Like eat breakfast, go to work, come home and do chores, you know – normal stuff.

When did we do that?  Oh, we survived our day at work, albeit hungover, we came home from work exhausted and then we had one or two just to make it through dinner.  And after dinner it was off to the races again.  Lots of fun, right?  I never woke up in the morning wishing I had one more the night before.

Picture1.pngstep9 (2)

Can you relate?  The headaches, the puking, the body stench from a liquor soaked, smoke filled night out.  Yeah, it was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?  Sure wished I had stayed for one more.  Aw hell, sure wish I could remember where I parked the car.  Did I drive home after the party.  Hmmmm, can’t remember.

If you are blessed today with sobriety, give yourself and your higher power a hand.


GABBY COOKS – pork chops

Clean & serene living means learning healthy habits and good eating.  And I love recipes that are quick and simple.  Here’s one of my new favorites.

These are the ingredients

  3. (1/2) STICK BUTTER
  4. (1/2 LB) FRESH, SLICED MUSHROOMS  more if you love mushrooms like I do
  5. (1) TBSP FLOUR
  6. UP TO 2 CUPS MILK whatever it takes to create a creamy, smooth gravy
  7. DRIED OREGANO AND THYME about 1 tsp each depending on your taste


  1. In a fry pan, melt the butter over low heat
  2. Stir in the crushed garlic.  Maintain a med/low heat.  Don’t want any scorching of the butter or the garlic
  3. Add the chops and brown on both sides to a light, golden crust – just a few minutes
  4. Remove the chops
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with the pan butter
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir again to coat evenly
  7. Cook the flour till it turns golden – just a few minutes
  8. Add the milk, stir, add more to bring to a creamy consistency.
  9. Add the herbs, stir again
  10. Salt and pepper now or wait until cooking is done
  11. Return the chops to the pan, spoon gravy over them
  12. Cover and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes
  13. I enjoy these chops served with a packaged rice pilaf mixture







Brothers in brokenness


I know you have tried time and again;
I see the heartache you suffer;
I feel the pain you endure in defeat.
God knows I want to fix you,
but, I can’t.
Every time you fall to its allure,
and it entices you to partake,
every time you stumble in weakness,
I fall with you and I stumble with you.
We harbor the same demons.
When you become numb in your stupor,
when you lapse into the world of unknown,
when you cry to me for help
my plea for your relief goes to God.
It’s all I can do.
We talk the next day about recovery;
we promise to try harder, do better;
we hope this time to kindle a spark,
that your 1st day of recovery is today.
But, I can’t fix it.
Only an imaginary wall separates us.
One slip and I’m on your side.
One miracle and you’re on mine.
We are a brotherhood of brokenness,
some victorious, some suffering.
Your demons are also mine.
They search our souls for weakness.
They attack in moments of foolishness.
Where you go, I also go for we are one
separated only by God’s grace.
Certainly there is no credit I should assume.
Our paths were as one in our addictions.
The bars were different, the cities different
yet even so, we destined ourselves to the same fate
because we are brothers in brokenness.
Was I special? Was I stronger or more loved?
Why was I the one chosen for recovery
while my brother continues to suffer?
Is it God’s choice or simply a matter of chance?
I wish I could fix it.

cunning, baffling, powerful

copyright 3

cunning, baffling, powerful



I got drunk last night

there was a fight 

the cops showed up

put me in handcuffs

the kids were crying

the neighbors were screaming

red and blue lights

lighting up the neighborhood.


O Lord, I got drunk last night

they put me on the ground

in handcuffs

dogs were barking

people cursing at me

dragged me to the car

cold jail cell

crying, cursing, screaming

crying, cursing, screaming 

wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up

damn it, wake up

crying, soaked in sweat


I got drunk last night

but it was just a dream

O Lord, it was just a dream.