Monday, September 19, 2022

Veni Vidi Voravi

Ok our meals were not an exact translation of the title, except for possibly Thursday night, when the meal did inspire eating with gusto.
We ate some of the meals that were planned and we did not eat some of the others. I  plan knowing that I will most likely change my mind along the way, but we still eat every single night. 
Most of our dinners are not horrible, even though there are some nights when a meal is just fodder. We eat it anyway.
It is what it is, and will be whatever it will be.

What was planned:
1. Leftover bbq pork salad
2. Veggie dinner TBD later with the exception of okra which is a given right now
3. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash, green beans, coleslaw
4. Sweet and sour chicken (keto version) rice or caulirice, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
5. Out to eat
6. Out to eat again(no longer delusional)
7. Something cooked on the grill (TBD), tossed salad or chopped salad.

What we really ate:
Monday: TheHub was out of town so I was left to my own dinner prep, which meant no prep at all. Thank goodness for washed salad greens and leftover pork.
Salad topped with leftover pulled pork

Tuesday: I wanted a meal that I could make ahead of time and this was it.
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash*, sliced tomatoes

Wednesday: Our okra is producing like crazy. It was the perfect night for a veggie meal.
Okra (fried or steamed) pink eyed peas, sliced tomatoes

Thursday: So glad that TheHub and I are not picky about sharing meals. Usually my entree is better than his, but this time I would call them dead even. I was glad to have a couple of bites of his snapper 
Dinner at Hot and Hot: Tomato salad, broiled diver scallops over lemon vinaigrette infused cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, or Red snapper over braised greens, sautéed baby turnips, and mushrooms. 

Friday: TheHub wanted to go out to eat again. I was fine with it as long as we went somewhere I could get a salad.
Dinner at The Electric: Wedge salad or flatbreads

Saturday: Son2, DIL2, and TGS came over to watch the Alabama game. It was a beautiful day, perfect for grilling after the game
Grilled burgers and all the fixings, ice cream

Sunday: Neither of us wanted anything particular and we had a couple of burgers left from Saturday night, but we did not want a sandwich.
Leftover burger patty, scalloped potatoes (made from a box**) or leftover steamed cauliflower, tossed salad

What's next, or what might be next.
1. Shrimp and grits, tossed salad
2. Veggie dinner TBD later but it will include okra
3. Chicken-broccoli casserole, coleslaw
4. Sweet and sour chicken, rice or caulirice, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes
5. Steak, tossed salad, keto fries or leftover scalloped potatoes 
6. Out to eat
7. Out to eat or leftovers

* I added a few drops of the mashed potato OOOflavoring to the caulimash I made Tuesday night. The taste difference was remarkable!

**I did not want anyone to think I was too ambitious and actually made scalloped potatoes from scratch. This was from an Aldi item that just needed water, a tad of milk and some butter. TheHub thought it was fine and sometimes fine is good enough.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Just For Fun

 My granddaughter and two of her neighborhood friends decided to launch a new business.  Son1 sent this to me Saturday afternoon. I wish them the best in their endeavor and feel sorry for all the creeps they will be investigating.

I assume this is their business card/flyer/whatever

Temporary GrandSon for those who may not know, is a differently abled young man living temporarily with Son2 and DIL2.  He gave this card to me Saturday afternoon.  Son2 and DIL2 said he could not be swayed once he saw it. He is unable to read and picked the card because he thought I would love the front of it. 
He can relay what he wants to  personally say on the card and I think he copied his sentiments but I am not positive. Best birthday card ever!

I told everyone in my family I wanted no gifts. I have more than I could ever want. Of course every family has that one person with a unique sense of humor, who gives you something specifically to see your reaction. 
I am not sure who laughed more, him or me. Nothing says love like a dust cloth, but I seriously do like this even though I might never use it for its intended purpose. I would have to remove the cardboard and that is what makes it so funny. Whoever said it is not fun to have adult kids is just lying! 

It is also entirely possibly that I should have named Son2 "Peter".

Life in the not so fast lane

Another week has come and gone (the 37th if you are counting) and it scares me to think how quickly the holidays will be here, the year will be gone and I will start another year keeping up with the joys I look for each day. And trust me when I tell you there are days I have to search high and low to find even one joyful thing.
Sometimes I look around and see people who live so much more exciting lives than I do, and I think there is no way they could possibly count their joyous moments. Or perhaps I am wrong and they find things they do boring or chaotic. I'm not sure, but I might like to walk in their shoes a day or two. Oh well, this is the life I lead.

BTW, I love show tunes!

Saturday: We got up and got out of the house early to run by the produce stand and get out usual Saturday morning running around done before an early ball game.  I understand TV revenue benefits to colleges and airing as many televised games as possible, but an 11 o'clock start time really messes up the day. We watched and cringed as Texas played extremely well and Alabama played extremely poorly. They pulled out the win at the last minute but I don't see how!

Sunday: The day was a routine Sunday. TheHub had to work a little but at least he was able to do it from home rather than having to drive into the office. I did at least try to make his day a little easier and made an actual hot breakfast for him. I don't eat breakfast and do not usually make one for him, but every now and then (OK, once in a blue moon) I pretend like I am a nice wife and whip him up some bacon and eggs over medium. 
Sunday evening we did a little running around to do a couple of errands, then we managed somehow to stop at our favorite bbq joint (Full Moon) for a quick dinner.  If your clothes do not smell faintly of hickory smoke when you leave a bbq restaurant, then you have chosen the wrong place to eat. The aroma from the pit is essential for the ultimate eating experience.

Monday: This was a regular type of day. Some days just getting all the laundry done, folded and put away is a huge joy. I don't count ironing though; I do that on demand and I don't demand it that often. TheHub went out of town so I had the entire night to do exactly what I wanted to do___read!

Tuesday: The day was cooler with sunny skies and low humidity, perfect for coffee on the porch. In fact I left the door to the screened porch opened all day. 
I remember when I was a kid and everyone had screened doors at the front of the house. I wish I had one right now to get a good cross-breeze on days like we had Tuesday.

 Wednesday: I had a lovely lunch at Bistro V with my former neighbor and really good friend, F.  We have been trying to find time to get together for several months, and it was great to finally be able to meet and talk. I have missed seeing her.
I also had a lengthy phone conversation with one of my friends. 
To top off the day, TheHub brought a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers home when he stopped at Publix after work.  His recreational shopping habit does have its perks.

Thursday: My Beloved Sister and I went out to lunch, then stopped by a new to her Walmart Everyday Market. It is a grocery store that is outside our suburb, but is always well stocked, neat and tidy. I hate Walmart, but I will voluntarily go to that particular store. It was nice to see her reaction to it, and like me she is going to start using it for her go-to Walmart grocery stop.
I was lucky to talk with all three sons and had messages from my DIL's. 
Son1 had some very exciting news. His car was stolen from his driveway a couple of weeks ago and was found mostly unharmed Thursday. 
TheHub and I went to Hot and Hot Fish Club for an early dinner. I was so happy the signature tomato salad was still on the menu. If you are in Birmingham and want to try somewhere really good, this is a nice place to go.
We came home and settled in to watch an episode of  Better Call Saul. It was a really good day.

Friday: The day was a perfect day to have coffee outside. After a couple of cups I decided to let Alexa blast me with music while I cleaned. About mid-day I wound up in the dining room. Big mistake. I should have started earlier. 
Instead of a china cabinet, I have corner cabinets built in on either side of the dining room window. Do you have any idea how much junk can accumulate there? 
I had already decided I would go though each and every single item, choosing anything I no longer use to go in a donations box for a local thrift store. I sorted enough for a big box, and I have only gone through the corner cabinets and about half of the sideboard.
 I found a lot of things I had forgotten I owned, and I also found my grandmother's punchbowl and cups. I could have sworn I had already given it to my cousin who will actually use it. I am leaving it on the dining room tables as a reminder to take it to her next week.
And as an aside, exactly how many table cloths are too many? 
TheHub called while I was still in the middle of sorting, polishing, and storing, to say he wanted to go to a casual restaurant for dinner.  It meant I had to stop what I was doing and get ready to go out.
Even though I was not keen on going, we ate on the patio, the weather was great, there were a couple of adorable kids playing by our table while their parents finished eating, we had a great conversation, and finished  by driving to the crest to see the remnants of a butter colored sky following the sunset. 

And now I can type this and not have to worry about it Saturday morning. Looks like I am going to be   stuck in the dining room instead!

Look for your joys each day. They are always there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Low Carb Doughnuts???

 I have mentioned several times that I have been maintaining a keto way of eating for a while. The bad thing about staying on it is that the meals can get very boring. Another is that a lot of the recipes for ketofying foods results in a mouth full of disappointment. I do try new keto recipes often and about 8 out of 10 are tried once and never tried again. The best ones are usually for savory dishes that are eaten either as a main course, or served as a side dish (like the caulitato salad that I make frequently).

The worst recipes are usually the desserts. They tend to be a horrible rendition of what should be a thoroughly lovely end to the meal. This week, however, I had some success. 

TheHub is not doing keto, and he eats bread, pasta and all sorts of things I am not eating, but he has almost given up eating sugars. This weekend he had said he really wanted something sweet and I had been toying with a recipe I found for keto  apple cider doughnuts. The only problem I had was the recipe called for apple flavoring and I had none. I did have some carrot cake* flavoring that came in a variety pack I bought the first time I ordered corn bread flavoring. It had been sitting unopened and I figured it would work just as well as the apple flavoring.

(Notice the holes.  I had to use the spatula to get these suckers out of the pan)

Almost Carrot Cake Doughnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup sifted almond flour
1/2 cup powdered swerve
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg

Wet ingredients:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (I am sure you could use regular milk)
1/2 teaspoon carrot cake flavoring
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well to combine it all. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry mixture and stir until it is all well combined.

Easy Peasy, right?
Now comes the only critical part to making these. I have non stick doughnut pans*, and even though I was warned the doughnuts would stick in them I thought how silly. The folks who made these must not have sprayed the pans well and relied solely on the non-stick surface. So I liberally sprayed each section well with Pam, poured my dough equally into the 6 doughnut molds and popped them into the oven. I took them out in about 15 minutes and let them cool as recommended. Then I turned the pan over onto a cutting board so they would have nice flat surface to fall onto when they released. 
I lifted the pan and voila! Not a bloomin' thing had happened. The doughnuts were stuck and were not about to let go of the pan. I got my thinnest silicon spatula and ran it around the pan sides and the "hole" to loosen them, then repeated the action of turning the pan upside down on the cutting board. 2 of them released, kind of. They both tore a bit on the underside but still looked mostly like a doughnut.  Doughnuts 3-6 fared a little worse. Edible? Yes, but they had big gaps where parts of the doughnut remained in the pan.

1/2 cup swerve granulated sweetener
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix in a flat bottomed bowl

When the doughnuts are completely cool to the touch, spray both sides with Pam then put into the bowl  to coat one side, flipping it over to coat the other side. Repeat until all the doughnuts are covered in "sugar"

The verdict? These were really good. TheHub snatched one before it was coated with the sweetener, and thought it was really good plain. He was wowed after he tried one with the topping on it. I liked them too and liked it even better the next day.

They were so easy to make I am going to start making them about once a week. Up next? Blueberry flavored doughnuts.

* I will not make them until the silicon doughnut pans I ordered from Amazon arrive. Evidently once they have cooled** in the pans you can just apply a little pressure to the bottom of each doughnut and they will pop right out of the pan.

**Almond flour based baked goods have to cool completely before you remove them from the pan or cookie sheet or they will completely crumble into a formless pile of crumbs.

p.s The carrot cake flavoring came from OOO Flavors.  I have no affiliation with anyone, so any product I mention here is something I have bought and had some success with. I am waiting for my purchase of apple flavoring  I ordered from Lor Ann Oils. I have never used this company for flavoring so the jury is still out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday 4

 Well that time has come again to ponder the questions from Annie @Tuesday 4 

1. Are you happy with the way your life is going?
My life is not moving as I imagined TheHub is working more than I ever thought he would and though he occasionally says the "r" word, I do not see him retiring any time soon. I have a granddaughter living on the other coast and I am no longer willing to wait for him to take time off from his job to go see her. I have no qualms about traveling alone so if he is going to continue to work at this pace, I will make solo trips to Portland whenever I want to go.
Ditto for seeing Son3 and DIL3 in New York.

2. Are you planning any trips in the future?
See above, plus a girl trip to the beach in a few weeks! I am looking forward to that!

3. Are you reading anything at the moment or do you plan on reading something interesting? 
I am always reading something and usually have 2 or 3 books going at once.  One of the books I am reading right now, "Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns", is one I would never recommend. Nothing about it even remotely rings true and though I enjoy fiction, the books have to be plausible. In all honesty I did not read the first one so I had nothing to base the writing stone on but had a friend tell me this one was a must read.  That is the only reason I am continuing to read it.

4. What's for supper tonight at your house? 
Most likely we will have a veggie dinner. Okra from the back yard is producing abundantly and I have squash in the refrigerator that needs to be cooked.
I did this post in the early morning and forgot to publish it. We did not have a veggie meal, but had a meatloaf instead.

Come on and join in and let us know what your plans are.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Dinner Plan Conundrum

When is a plan not a plan? Oh, that would be whenever I make one. Judging from the last two weeks I should just start planning where we are going out to eat instead of planning meals. Come to think of it, we  already have dinner reservations for at least one night this week. 

Delusional planning for last week:
1.BBQ chicken casserole, brussels sprouts
2. Grilled tuna steak, rice or caulirice, tossed salad, green beans
3. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash, peas and carrots, coleslaw
4. Hamburgers with all the fixings, chips and/or keto "fries"
5. Stuffed peppers, rice, broccoli. tossed salad
6. Veggie meal TBD later
7. Out to eat    

What or where we actually ate:
Monday: We had a lazy rainy Labor Day. Instead of trying to grill I just cooked the burgers on the stovetop. It was not much of a celebration dinner, but sometimes , even on a holiday, a meal is just a meal.
Burgers and all the fixings

Tuesday: Our okra plants are going full force and have to be harvested each day. Since I had other veggies in the fridge the meal was a no-brainer.
Squash, peas, okra, sliced tomatoes

Wednesday: Along with the okra, our pepper plants are producing like gangbusters and I get about 3 new ones every day. 
Stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes (or none), tossed salad

Thursday: After going to a reception for a new art exhibit, we decided to go out to eat. I had a bit of a headache, so we just grabbed something and brought it home.
Whataburger's avocado burger (sans toast) or burger and onion rings. 

Friday: TheHub does not like to eat at home on Friday's, and even though I had planned on grilling outside, he still wanted to get out of the house for dinner. I was not about the argue with him as long as the thawed tuna was not wasted.
Fried Green Tomato's (a local meat and three) roasted chicken, stewed okra and tomatoes, coleslaw or fried catfish (it looked and smelled so good), 

Saturday: Woo hoo, it was a ball game day, which meant we were going to be home so we could watch games at 11, 2:30, and 6. To be honest except for watching Alabama, the term watch is subjective. It really means the games were on the TV with the volume kind of loud, while we were doing other things, going in an out of the den just catching up on what was happening, and flipping the stations to different games to check on them.
Grilled tuna steaks, tossed salad

Sunday: I was all set to make a meatloaf for dinner, but TheHub thought since we had bypassed bbq on Labor Day we should have it Sunday night. Fine with me!
Full Moon's bbq pork, chow chow, baked beans (or none), coleslaw

And on to this week:
(Nothing sounds good and nothing sounds bad. The only certainty is that I will have a lot of okra and peppers to use.)
1. Leftover bbq pork salad
2. Veggie dinner TBD later with the exception of okra which is a given right now
3. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash, green beans, coleslaw
4. Sweet and sour chicken (keto version) rice or caulirice, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
5. Out to eat
6. Out to eat (no longer delusional)
7. Something cooked on the grill (TBD), tossed salad or chopped salad.

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all

Saturday, September 10, 2022

36th Week of Small Joys

This week came and went, actually it flew by kind of like all the weeks are doing now. I would like to say I had wonderful adventures, and a glorious time hanging with all the beautiful people in the city, but I did not. Instead I had a week just running normal errands, seeing the folks I see on a regular basis, listening to music, reading, cleaning (minimally) and other fun stuff. In other words I was just my usual pretty boring self.
TheHub and I did sit down recently and make a list of things we need to get rid of, and we made a list of adventures we would like to have. Things may or may not happen as we planned, but I'm trying.

Saturday: We woke and did our usual running around, but this particular Saturday morning TheHub wanted to go out for breakfast. We do that about twice a year and it was so nice. I love coffee but there is something so much better about "restaurant" coffee. Maybe it is because every time the waiter passes he/she tops off the cup with steaming hot deliciousness.
We gave the Alabama football tickets to Son2, DIL2, and TGS so they stopped by for a few minutes to grab the parking pass. Any time I see them is a good day.
That night we watched the game on TV while munching on ball game snacks instead of a real dinner, which is always a treat.

Sunday: This was a traditional Sunday for us, but we did watch the LSU Florida State game on TV along with an episode of "Better Call Saul".

Monday: I had a couple of library books that were about to be due, which meant I had to do some serious reading, which is a huge joy!  I know it was Labor Day and we should have done something but TheHub was at home and he needed some serious downtime to recharge his batteries. Does cooking a hamburger on the grill count as a celebration?

Tuesday: More reading was followed by some deep cleaning in the bedroom. Cleaning is not joyful to me, but the after effects are.

Wednesday: Besides having a wonderful phone conversation with my cousin S. the day was pretty ordinary. Cooking, cleaning, dusting . . . all the stuff I really do not like to do. 

Thursday: We were invited to a pre-show reception of the works of a deceased Alabama artist, Thornton Dial. He was an untrained artist and created his works using found objects. 
I am posting pictures of a few of my favorites. I was very happy there were some benches to sit and study some fo the pieces. He used everything From old socks, to little kids pop beads in his pieces and looking at some of them was like trying to find Waldo. 
A small joy was actually having an occasion to get dressed a bit nicer than I normally do.
They had cocktails and finger foods, which neither of us had the hankering for at 6 pm. We passed on it and went out to eat afterward. Not cooking is another true joy.

Friday: I ran a few errands, dodged a storm or two then came home, had a lovely conversation with fellow blogger, Kim, fixed a simple dinner then we settled in for a "Better Call Saul" marathon, which is a true joy because TheHub does not usually like to watch more than one episode per day, of any series.

Small joys? Yes indeed! But joys, large and small, are out there if we just look for them.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,