Grow Where You’re Planted

Grow Where You’re Planted

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I’m Paula Todora, and I live in Texas with my husband of 21 years, our 4 year-old schnotty named Diggy-Dog (schnauzer/scotty mix) and the “caped wonder” Fluffy Boy who is our 16 year-old black long-haired cat. We also have a 9 year-old grandson who holds the key to our hearts. 

One of the wonderful lessons I’ve learned in my 60 years of living on God’s green earth is ~

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are 


This applies to so much in life, and a great example is a chef  I know who lives in a tiny New York apartment.

She creates recipe after brilliant recipe on a 2-burner stove, using just a handful of utensils and pans. Yet, some of us seem to think we have to have the right tool for the right dish and an award-winning kitchen with granite, stainless steel and more. Not true.

I’ve also seen with my own two eyes a young woman make her somewhat ghetto apartment look like House Beautiful, always clean and always smelling of lavender and citrus.  Soap is inexpensive, and clean is free.

She had hand-me-down furniture and a few new dollar store accessories that would make anyone proud. Always cooking wonderful meals for herself and her son, entertaining and making their lives complete. She made her apartment her own kind of beautiful. Lesson learned. 

Also known as “grow where you are planted,” have faith and carry on. Be your own kind of Beautiful!









Set Boundaries 

Another important lesson that I’ve learned that I apply to pretty much every situation I come across. 

Here’s a little nugget of truth ~ A lack of boundaries invites a lack of self respect. 

I have a section on my blog labeled “Respectful Recipes.” It’s a collection of well-balanced foods that are good for your mind, body and spirit. Whole grains, lower fats, protein and vitamin-rich food that make you feel good about yourself. I compare setting boundaries with people the same with food – food isn’t the enemy really. It’s the overconsumption of food that is. 

So, this rule of thumb applies to about 99% of life – boundaries with people, boundaries with food, boundaries with pretty much everything in life to keep us on the road to success and happiness. 

Happiness is when the mind, body and spirit unite. 

My goal with my blog is not to accumulate thousands of followers, sell products or make money. My goal is to keep track of recipes for myself and to share them whit others. I do believe that food is love and brings happiness. 

 Welcome to my simple namesake blog. 

Contest Cooking

Steel Your Heart Away Eggrolls

Steel Your Heart Away Eggrolls


This was my alltime favorite contest to enter, to qualify and to win – Bob’s Red Mill. You may recognize Bob Moore from the label. The people were great, they treated us all very well, and the prize was SWEET! A trip for two to Scotland!  

Here’s Bob and me right after the cookoff. As you can see, he stole my heart.  Set in Milwaukee, Oregon, where BRM is headquartered (a small suburb of Portland), 3 of us finalists competed in a 30-minute cookoff for the chance to accompany the BRM Marketing Team to Scotland to compete in the World Porridge Competition, or Golden Spurtle. Hence the name, Spar for the Spurtle. 

FYI, a spurtle is a wooden utensil used to stir porridge the good old fashioned way. Here I am with my spurtle all wrapped in ribbon. 


It was a comfy, cozy little cookoff full to the brim of onlookers. It took place at Bob’s Red Mill Store and Restaurant. br0gxpgcqaa6mwf

Here we are cooking our little hearts out. I was in awe of the oat brittle that the gentleman made to the right of me and also excited to cook next to the infamous Camilla Saulsbury, whose touch turns most things to gold. 

To be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance in the world to win, and I was happy to make it to the finals. My sweet husband, James, accompanied me, and a great time was had by all.  



See the original recipe and article on the Bob’s Red Mill blog HERE. I called my recipe “Steel Your Heart Away Eggrolls” because I used Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats inside, along with a yummy homemade apple filling. 



Once in Scotland, I made them for the judges, along with traditional 3 ingredient porridge (oats, water and salt). 

Carrbridge, Scotland


World Porridge Competition in Carrbridge


CNN – oh boy! Cooking AND Talking-I was in heaven!


Steel Your Heart Away Eggrolls
  1. 1 ½ quarts Peanut Oil
  2. 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
  3. 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  4. ¾ cup Water
  5. 2 large Granny Smith Apples
  6. Juice of 1 Lemon
  7. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  9. 1/8 tsp Cloves
  10. 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  11. 2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
  12. ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  13. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Walnuts
  14. 1/2 cup Golden Raisins
  15. 12 Eggroll Wrappers
  16. ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
  1. Soak oats in coconut milk and water in refrigerator overnight. Heat peanut oil in wok or large pot to 350 degrees, using a thermometer. Peel, core and chop apples into 1/2 inch pieces and place in small bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and stir to coat.
  2. In a 2 quart saucepan on high heat, combine soaked oats, apples with lemon juice, spices, brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring, add salt and reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add walnuts and raisins; stir well and continue to cook, covered, on medium heat 5-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. When apples are tender and oats are cooked, transfer to a bowl that is sitting inside an ice-filled bowl to decrease temperature before filling eggroll wrappers.
  4. With a corner of an eggroll wrapper pointed towards you, place 2-3 Tablespoons of filling in the middle and spread from side to side, leaving 1 inch on sides. Pull up bottom corner and snuggly cover filling. Bring each side corner over, and pat edges of remaining top corner with water. Roll to seal, making sure the end is tucked under. Repeat for remaining egg rolls.
  5. Cook, 3 at a time in heated oil for 1 minute on each side, or until golden and crispy. Drain well on paper towels. Repeat with remaining egg rolls. When ready to serve, cut each diagonally and stand one up; Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Serve warm with a dipping sauce of chilled orange marmalade mixed with honey, if desired. Makes 12
Paula Todora