Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Week That Was

Another week has passed and I realize again how few of the planned meals we actually ate.if you have read any of my past menu plans this should come as no surprise to anyone. Normally I try to have this up at least by midday on Monday, but I was caught in an Orange is the New Black binge watching vortex. If any of you have ever binge watched a Netflix show you will understand why this had to wait until Tuesday!

This is what I had planned:
1. Hamburger patties with mushrooms, asparagus, mashed potatoes, tomato slices
2. Squash casserole, green beans, corn bread, sliced tomatoes
3. White bbq chicken, coleslaw, corn on the cob,
4. Salmon with dill sauce, tossed salad, baked potatoes, some green veggie (undecided yet)
5. Salad supper, rolls
6. Tacos or taco salad with all the taco fixings.
7. Out to eat

And this is what actually happened:
Monday:  I don't even remember what happened Monday. It must have been fairly uneventful but it came and went and we did eat.
Hamburger patties with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, asparagus, tomato slices 

Tuesday: This was technically book club night, but we tend to not read books over the summer. None of us have any kids at summer so summer should not make much of a difference in our reading time but it does.
 Out to eat

Wednesday:  Did my typical Wednesday grocery shopping, bought a few things for Mom, stopped at her house to drop them off and did the daily visit with her. After staying with her a bit I came home and punted the squash casserole because it does take longer to make than I was willing to devote to food prep.
Sautéed squash, green beans, sliced tomatoes, sliced peppers, cornbread

Thursday: The weather was perfect. Not too hot and very low humidity is virtually unheard of here in July. I got in the pool and swam laps for about an hour, did a ton of laundry, a little yard work then came in to cook.
Chicken in mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, tossed salad

Friday:  Spent the day just doing things around the house then I sat on the porch and read. It was another beautiful cook day, perfect for grilling,
Grilled steak, tossed salad, rolls

Saturday: We woke, TheHub went into the office for a little bit and then we decided to go to see the movie, Yesterday. We ate a late lunch after the show so we were not really not very hungry at dinner time. I just grabbed something out of the freezer and called it done.
Pork carnitas, coleslaw

Sunday: It was a beautiful day and My Beloved Sister did the heavy lifting at Mom's so I had a Mom free day. I will confess I enjoyed not having to go there for the entire day.  I did a boatload of advance cooking mainly keto things for the freezer. Now I am stocked with keto breads, rolls, and muffins, as well as a the bases for a couple of meals. TheHub did a few chores early in the day and caught up on his reading while I cooked. We decided to eat a relatively early  dinner (at least early for us), fired up the grill and cooked while there was still daylight.
White bbq chicken,  cauliflower pretend potato salad

And this is what I think might possibly be good for the week: I know at least one meal will match perfectly because we ate it last night, quickly so I could finish watching the last season of Orange is the New Black. Unlike the stupid Game of Thrones* final season, the writers of OITNB gave the viewers a satisfying ending. Everything might not have been happily ever after but at least they put thought into it and did not rely on CGI visuals to move the story to its conclusion.

1. Tacos or taco salad
2. Mississippi chicken over rice or cauli rice, some green vegetable, tossed salad
3. Grilled lamb chops. mashed potatoes or cauli mash, tossed greens, asparagus
4. Hamburgers with all the fixings, coleslaw
5. Squash casserole, lady peas, sliced tomatoes, cukes, okra (?)
6. Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomatoes, pickle spears,
7. Son2 and DIL2 are closing on a house tomorrow and we will most likely be helping them move during the weekend. I am sure there will be  take out at least one night.

Have a great week, stay on plan, go off plan or have no plan at all and just enjoy freestyling life!

Friday, July 26, 2019

What is New Under the Sun? Sunflower Cookies

When I read various blogs I see that a lot of bloggers have some issues that require special diets. I am currently doing the keto way of eating mainly as a weight loss tool. For the past several months I have been doing it sometimes and not others, consequently I have neither gained nor lost any. In the five months prior to Thanksgiving I lost a good bit and managed to keep it off, in spite of going totally off the rails from Thanksgiving through New Years. Now I am ready to get back on it seriously (meaning staying strictly on it without the occasional hamburger bun or doughnut or whatever else tends to lull me into complacency.)

This recipe, even though it is keto compliant will work for anyone who is watching their carbs, gluten free diets, or vegetarian diets. With slight alterations it would even work with a vegan and paleo diet. Additionally these really do taste good, which is another reason to make them.

Preheat oven to 350

1 cup sunflower seed flour*
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt**
1/2 cup Sunflower Butter (make sure to mix in the oil very well)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup erythritol (I use Swerve. It does not cause tummy issues)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar free chocolate chips  (I use Lily's. They are stevia sweetened and kind of pricy but you use very few in every recipe I have seen)

Mix the sunflower flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sunflower butter, butter, erythritol, and vanilla. Add the egg and blend well. Pour the dry ingredients into the sun butter mix. Blend thoroughly. Drop by spoonful onto parchment covered baking sheets, Cook about 10 minutes, remove and let cool on the pan for about 10 minutes. If you wish you can put them on a wire rack to cool completely, but I never do. I just put them on a plate. I freeze most of them, mainly to keep me from eating more than I should. They freeze well. All you need to do is pull them out of the freezer and let them sit until they are room temp, then enjoy.

*You can order sunflower flour from Amazon or you can make your own. Simply pulse raw shelled sunflower seed in a blender or coffee grinder until it is a flour like consistency. I used a coffee grinder pulsing every few seconds. It was a piece of cake, but I could only do about 3 tablespoons of seed at a time.
**If using salted sunflower butter cut the salt in half. Use my experience instead of having to learn this for yourself

These are a very tasty low carb treat. I try to add cookies to the freezer each week and since I don't eat them often I have the option of a couple of cookies in different combinations every few days. Since it is not terribly hot I might cook different cookies just for the freezer tomorrow. I feel like I need to bake according to the weather rather than whether or not I need them right now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

menu schemnu

 Once again I decided what might taste good during the week, which included things I had on hand, either in the fridge or the freezer. This week I think I did a little better job of planning because we actually had 4 out of 7 planned meals. (5 if you count the planned dining out meal even though we did not go out of town to see the niece dance. Turns out her dance was at noon rather than in the evening.)

This is what was planned:
1. Crack chicken (from the freezer) , over rice or cauli rice, coleslaw, green beans, sliced tomatoes
2. Smoked brisket (from the freezer), mashed potatoes or caulimash, coleslaw
3. Chili dogs (chili from the freezer) with or without buns, coleslaw
4. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans (stovetop variety), tomato cuke and onion salad
5. Grilled veggies over rice (or not) sliced tomatoes, salad greens, keto strawberry pie (if I am making a dessert it is going to be something I can eat too)
6. Spaghetti sauce over noodles or zoodles, French bread (or not) tossed salad
7. We are going to Tuscaloosa Friday night to see our niece dance, so most likely we will go out to eat there.

This past week was neither a spectacular week, nor a particularly bad one. I know I went to the grocery store a couple of times but I did very light shopping since I carried over a lot of produce from the week before. I did stop at a little veggie stand near the lake for some tomatoes and peaches though.

This is what actually happened:
Monday: I did a lot of cooking for the freezer, mainly keto prep. I had been out of keto bread and rolls (It is not really like real bread but I have gotten pretty good at pretending it is.)  I did not feel like cooking dinner but I did at least remember to thaw the crack chicken. Nothing like a freezer meal score! 
Crack chicken, jasmine rice or cauliflower bits, turnip greens, sliced tomatoes, marinated vegetable slaw 

Tuesday: I spent the morning/early afternoon getting a small party ready for my friends at The Independence Place of Alabama. Nothing like celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 with Moon Pies, Moon Rocks (oyster cracker treats), Blue Moon Punch, Star Crunch, and any song with the word Moon in the title. When I got home I had a trying time with Mom. TheHub had a rough day at the office and since we were both fit to be tied by the time dinner rolled around, we decided going out to eat (and having a drink) was a good option. Fortunately incredibly delicious food ( and a glass of wine) from The Red Pearl works miracles. Plus after the meal was over we browsed their excellent Asian market and picked up a couple of items we can't find at Publix or The Pig.
Spring rolls and Basil Chicken

Wednesday: I don't remember any specifics about Wednesday. I guess I just got busy doing a lot of forgettable things. I do remember it was time to eat and I had forgotten to take anything out of the freezer. Luckily I had some smoked sausage in the refrigerator.
Smoked sausage with peppers, onions and mushrooms, coleslaw

Thursday: I had made a gigantic pot of spaghetti sauce Monday morning. Most of it was packed in freezer bags for meals later on, but I had kept enough of it in the refrigerator for one dinner.
Spaghetti (or zoodles) with meat sauce, tossed salad

Friday: We had planned on being out of town originally, but did not realize the dance was in the middle of the day. I have never thought a performance would be held at noon and TheHub was at work. I could have driven down and watched anyway, but I really did not want to go by myself. Instead I visited some with Mom, swam, and had a pretty relaxing day at home. I had some smoked brisket in the freezer which meant dinner was a no brainer.
Smoked Brisket, coleslaw, baked beans

Saturday: We planned on going to the lake after TheHub had lunch with some of his long time friends from high school. Oops! The luncheon was Friday instead of Saturday and we could have gone on to the lake Friday evening. It worked out just as well and I was able to check on Mom Saturday morning. We had planned a super simple supper using some chili I had frozen a while back.
Chili Dogs (buns optional) with all the fixings, coleslaw

Sunday: We stayed at the lake much later than usual, and got home right before dark. I don't know if I had even given supper a passing thought but it was late and we were hungry.
Hello Taco Bell

And now another week has rolled around and I am a day late posting this menu. Since one meal has already happened, at least one meal this week will match my meal plan exactly!

In no particular order  (except the first meal that we already ate)
1. Hamburger patties with mushrooms, asparagus, mashed potatoes, tomato slices
2. Squash casserole, green beans, corn bread, sliced tomatoes
3. White bbq chicken, coleslaw, corn on the cob,
4. Salmon with dill sauce, tossed salad, baked potatoes, some green veggie (undecided yet)
5. Salad supper, rolls
6. Tacos or taco salad with all the taco fixings.
7. Out to eat

And once again we will see how close to the menu we will actually come. 3 out of 7 meals seems to be about average for the past weeks. Who knows, one week I might actually completely follow the plan. Doubtful__but it could happen!

Have a great week, planned or otherwise!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Another Week Bites the Dust

Weekly I have a meal plan that I formulate based on what we have available, what is going to be on sale at the store for the week, and what sounds good on Monday when I think about the week ahead. This is what I thought might happen around dinner time this past week.

1. Salad Supper, French bread
2. Leftover brisket, sautéed mushrooms, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers
3. Grilled pork chops,  corn on the cob (or not) coleslaw, sliced tomatoes
4, Remaining bbq pork, mashed potatoes or cauli mashers, Greek style green beans
5, Chicken salad, pimento cheese, combo plate
6, Steak, salad, rolls
7. Out to eat at a fundraising event

Monday- Thursday
Well this past week was a total bust. I think the only thing I planned that we actually ate was the remaining bbq pork and we only ate that to keep it from going to waste. In fact I don't even remember what we ate any of these  nights except for Wednesday evening. * TheHub went shopping with me and we decided to grab a bite while we were out running errands. We wound up at a little Greek place but neither of us had their Greek dishes, so I am not sure why we stopped there except that all of their food is consistently good and affordable.

Friday: We bought tuna steaks while we were out Wednesday night so we did grill them Friday night.  I had also found some hidden scallops while reorganizing the big freezer. Instead of surf and turf we had surf and surf.
Grilled tuna steaks with orange ginger sauce, pan seared scallops, mashed potatoes or cauliflower, tossed salad.

Saturday: We went to a marvelous fundraiser for The Independence Place of Alabama. It is a wonderful organization catering to the recreational and social needs of adults with special needs. I love all the participants and love spending my volunteer time with them. I have said before and will continue to say, this is the ONLY place I go where every single person is glad I am there. (I am reasonably sure when I go other places there is at least one person who thinks, if not says aloud ,"Oh $*@% Why did she have to come")
 I think the thing I like best about this particular program is they not only do the traditional recreational things associated with any group, but they also provide service to a local nursing home, their local city, and a consignment store which funds an orphanage in Uganda
During the program many of the participants took to the stage to sing and sign "Lean on Me". I only wish they had sung it about 10 times so I could have watched each individual perform the song in its entirety.
The food was a bbq catered meal, but was totally incidental to the evening. I just hope this was their most profitable fundraiser yet.

Sunday: We have been having afternoon storms for a few days but the weather broke just in time for us to fire up the grill. (Which really means stick a match in the grill and turn on the gas) What a nice way to end the weekend!
Hamburgers with all the fixings (bun optional), potato chips or none.

 I know I fail terribly at following my meal plan, but I do like to think about the possibilities out there and at least I have a direction to totally ignore. It is still hot as blazes here and my cooking will be limited to something grilled, a quick stovetop meal, or possibly something that was frozen and can be nuked in the microwave. So this is what I have planned for this minute, subject to whims, appetites, or just plain laziness.

Again, these meals are in no order.
1. Crack chicken (from the freezer) , over rice or cauli rice, coleslaw, green beans, sliced tomatoes
2. Smoked brisket (from the freezer), mashed potatoes or caulimash, coleslaw
3. Chili dogs (chili from the freezer) with or without buns, coleslaw
4. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans (stovetop variety), tomato cuke and onion salad
5. Grilled veggies over rice (or not) sliced tomatoes, salad greens, keto strawberry pie (if I am making a dessert it is going to be something I can eat too)
6. Spaghetti sauce over noodles or zoodles, French bread (or not) tossed salad
7. We are going to Tuscaloosa Friday night to see our niece dance, so most likely we will go out to eat there.

We will see what the week brings, but whatever it does will be the coolest and easiest meal prep possible. I had rather swim or read in the evenings anyway!

* Note to self: Since you suffer from CRS syndrome, start writing down what you actually ate for dinner. Might work better than trying to retain it in the aging gray matter.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tormented by Bananas

Do you ever look in the fruit bowl and notice that banana that no one has eaten? The one that has darkened but is not yet liquid? The one that you can't bear to trash because____food waste? There was one staring at me this morning. No, it was not staring, it was taunting me, demanding that I either use it right that minute or throw it in the trash. yes I could trash it but I would only be tossing the fruit and keeping the guilt of wasting it.

My lovely DIL2 was here and she likes breakfast foods, so instead of headed to the trash with a little transformation the banana headed to her stomach. My first thought was to make her some banana muffins which would require heating the oven and I am just not going to do that while it is hot. Instead I opted for banana pancakes, but not just any banana pancake. Special pancakes for a special woman!

I had about a cup of baking mix that needed to be used, so it because my base. With a few additions it became her mid morning breakfast. Not everything I cook has to be keto, I just wouldn't eat it. (But I really wanted a few bites)

1 cup baking mix (Bisquick or whatever. I use Hodgson Mill because I prefer whole grain products)
1 teaspoon additional baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 very ripe mashed banana
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, milk and beaten egg. Stir to blend. (mix will be a little lumpy) Stir in the mashed banana. When it is blended add the nuts and chocolate chips. Stir just enough to incorporate them.
Have a lightly greased griddle or skillet heated to medium. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter on the griddle, cook until air bubbles appear and the bottom is set. Flip the pancakes and cook through. Pop them onto a warm plate and top with butter. Since I truly do love my DIL I also warmed some praline maple syrup for the finishing touch.

Since this makes enough for 2 people,  I cooked the remaining batter and decided to freeze them individually on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen I will pack them in a freezer bag and she can have them for another day.

If you have a smart alec banana hanging around show it who's boss and whip you up a batch of easy delicious pancakes.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Just Chillin'

It is just plain old hot. In fact it is so hot even all my tricks to keep cool are not working and I am staying in the house in the air conditioned artificial coolness. This morning I had some obligations that required me to be in and out of the car several times, plus I needed to go grocery shopping. It is no fun when the temps are near 100, the humidity is at about 70 percent and there is not a cloud in the sky. It means at each stop, the car is going to be unbearably hot if the stop is over 10 minutes long, and I had a handful of 30 plus minutes stops.

I have learned, over time, to always carry and heavy insulated bag with me when I go summertime grocery shopping. I was going to be out for a good while before actually going to Ald and was stopping at an Aldi on the other side of town because a couple of the things I was doing were about 30 miles from my house. There was no way I was going to pass right by one Aldi on my drive home without stopping, rather than get close to my house and have to drive a few miles south to go to an identical store, even if it meant I did not shop at my usual store.  Amazingly the earth did not open and swallow me whole for changing up my grocery shopping patterns just a tad.

I had one extra stop midway between the store and home (which is why I always have that insulated bag during the summer) and even though I was out of the car maybe 5 minutes, it felt like an oven when I returned to it, and did not really cool off until I got home.

After lugging all the groceries out of the car and into the house, then putting everything in its place I was beyond overheated, and only wanted something cool. Since I am doing that keto thing my traditional cool down foods are pretty much verbotten. I mean, what would have been better than a huge bowl of ice cream?  Fortunately several days ago I had thought it might be wise to make some form of a ice cold treat that was keto compliant. I am so glad I did so that I could sit under the ceiling fan and enjoy something tasty and cold while my body cooled off. Did I mention it was also chocolate?

These popsicles are not only keto friendly, but they are a sugar free alternative for those who watch/limit their sugar. I will admit they are not as rich and creamy as a real life ice cream treat, but they are a dang fine alternative.

13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons erythritol to taste
2  Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

Add coconut milk, sweetener, cocoa and salt to a medium size boiler. Whisk over medium heat until all the coconut milk bits have melted and everything is completely blended.

If using the xanthan gum add it little by little, cause you don't want the mixture to get lumpy. Just keep stirring and sprinkling until it is all nice and smooth. You could speed the process along by using an immersion blender, but I seem to always opt instead for whatever can be washed in the dishwasher. When everything is smooth (there will be some air bubbles, but that just happens) let it cool to room temperature, stir in the whipping cream, then pour into popsicle molds.  Set in the freezer until frozen. (this will take a few hours to be hard set)

The yield depends on the size of your molds. I got 8 full size popsicles from mine. Supposedly, these will keep for a couple of months in the freezer, but I am not sure. My molds have plastic handles and do not form an airtight seal. I do have them in a ziplock bag but I am going to experiment using standard wooden popsicle sticks, so I can take them out  after freeze  them to free up the molds for additional frozen treats.

I feel cooler just writing this, but I am fixin ' to (southern term for going to ) go outside. I will most likely have a cool treat when I come back inside. Because I deserve it? No__just because they are there and it's hot.

Monday, July 8, 2019

And Again What happened

Below is what I had intended for us to have as our meals for the week. It has been seriously hot and muggy here, plus I may or may not have gone off the keto wagon for the long 4th weekend (OK the entire week) and may have deviated a great deal from what was planned in accord with a ketogenic way of eating. 

1. Smoked brisket, corn on the cob, watermelon, sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, strawberry pie 
2. Smoked sausage and cabbage, grilled keto bread or French bread
3. Veggie meal: Okra, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, peach cobbler
4. Hot dogs (special request by TheHub), coleslaw chips
5. Grilled chicken, rice or not, tossed salad, grilled veggies
6. Pulled pork (leftover from Son2's bbq) baked beans, potato salad or caulitato salad
7. Big salad dinner. No clue what it might be yet. French bread or keto roll, coconut pie

Monday: I decided to take a trip off the keto train for exactly one reason__lady peas and fried okra. I was having a severe craving for a traditional southern veggie meal. When I first decided to have this I was going to have a keto version, but the lure of fresh shelled peas and okra with that evil corn meal coating lured me into submission. And yes, it was delicious and worth it.
Lady peas, fried okra, squash, sliced tomatoes, cornbread (I forgot to make the cobble I had planned)

 Tuesday: I decided to fast Tuesday mainly because I had gone off the wagon Monday. It was an easy day to go without eating. Since we have help with Mom now, I have gotten a bit of time to do some things that I find important. One of them is volunteering at The Independence Place. I have been unable to commit to regular volunteer time for over a year and I have missed it greatly. Tuesday I walked back in and was greeted by hugs and smiles. I have said before and it is worth repeating: there is no where else I go where every single person there is glad to see me. It is pretty easy to go without food when really busy and happy so I did not even think of eating or what I was going to make for dinner. I knew I had leftover  brisket and a few sides. Yep, dinner decided itself. 
Leftovers: brisket, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies

Wednesday: Not exactly sure what happened this day. I know I spent a decent portion of it getting ready for my SIL's overnight visit, but I think I also read a lot also, then TheHub and I had a little shopping trip for some parts to repair a couple of things that had gone on the fritz. Our grill needed a replacement grate to hold briquettes and the lawnmower had a part that had melted (wth). Additionally Home Depot had a sale on some outdoor furniture so we bought a couple of sling type love seats for the upper patio in the backyard.  Dinner needed to be quick and there is not a lot quicker than the meal we made when we got back. I use the word we as the royal we, since the only thing TheHub does to help with a meal is to eat it.
Sausage and cabbage

Thursday: Happy 4th of July! Prior to my SIL arriving I invited the neighbors over for a swim. They have 2 sets of twins, all  darling girls. I loved watching them play in the water and have told them they need to come swim at least once a week. Most days I am the only one who swims and even I have gotten lax. Changing that immediately!
For dinner, SIL, Mom, Son2 and DIL2 ate with us. It was a nice relaxed 4th with lots of conversation, along with pretty darn good food.
Smoked pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans, watermelon, black forest cake

Friday: My Sil left pretty early in the morning headed to Tuscaloosa to see her granddaughter who is attending a 3 week dance camp on the University of Alabama campus. After she was gone I baked some cookies (I spat in the eye of the keto diet evidently all week) to take to the lake, packed some foods and got ready for a weekend there. It was the hottest week of the year so far, 100 plus  with insane humidity so we rethought what we wanted to eat.  We stopped by Publix nearest the lake and grabbed some hot dogs and a pan of Stouffers lasagne. The heat demanded things needed to be able to either be cooked on the stove top or microwave. We arrived, unloaded, did a few chores, watched the sun set and finally got around to eating about 9. 
Hot dogs with hot dog fixings and nothing else

Saturday: I did not think it could be hotter and muggier than Friday but I was wrong. It was so hot and humid we did not even want to get the boat out, so we stayed either in the a/c or out on the screened porch with fans on their highest speed. Again we stayed out watching the sun set and on    into complete darkness. By the time I got the lasagne zapped, it was a little after nine.
Nuked frozen lasagne, salad from a bag

Sunday: We left the lake place at 9 a.m. so we would be home in time to take Mom to our church's July 4th service. For the past 17 years a local group Three on a String has performed with a mix of spirituals and patriotic music. It is always a very nice service and during the summer our church takes on a more relaxed attitude. All services are held in the auditorium rather than the sanctuary and the dress is much more casual. Sunday there was a lot of red, white and blue clothes in every imaginable style. 
I am sharing two of the songs (see below) that they have sung for the past 2 or 3 years. They are my favorites each year.
We left church in the middle of a monsoon type rain only to find  after the rains stopped that the rest of the day was steamy and hot or hot and steamy. Muggy days require either no cooking or cooking outside. We both were sloths, just hanging out and reading the rest of the day, until it was well past dark. I grabbed a couple of leftovers and we called it dinner.
Potato salad and watermelon

                                                                               GoD and DoG

                                                  Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho

And this is what sounds good to me for next week right now. As with every menu I plan, this is subject to  the whims and cravings of the cook.
1. Salad Supper, French bread
2. Leftover brisket, sauteed mushrooms, caulitato salad, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers
3. Grilled pork chops,  corn on the cob (or not) coleslaw, sliced tomatoes
4, Remaining bbq pork, mashed potatoes or cauli mashers, Greek style green beans
5, Chicken salad, pimento cheese, combo plate
6, Steak, salad, rolls
7. Out to eat at a fundraising event

This might or might now work, but I am feeling it right now. Will see I guess!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

June, Busting Out All Over or Just A Bust

"In the summertime when the weather is fine . . . " Using a lot of poetic liberties, I am pretty sure that old song means it is time for me to revamp my weekly list. I have deleted some things and changed others to fit my life or the season. I also added things I thought would appeal to me a little more.  As usual this is not a to do list, but is more of a guide for things that bring me happiness.
There is a slight codicil on this weekly list however. The second week of June was the week of the descending hoards when the band came and stayed for four days. Pretty much nothing on this list happened then, but there were many new and different happenings then.

1.  Either go to or rent a movie to watch by myself
Week 1. Boy Erased  (I found this painful to watch)
Week 2. Nope
Week 3. Did not rent this but binged Forever  (Amazon Prime. Great way to spend a stormy afternoon at the lake))
Week 4.

2.  Listen to a new to me album (thanks to Discover Weekly on Spotify)
Week 1.There Is No Other Rhiannon Giddens
Week 2. A Town Called Earth Greyboy Allstars
Week 3. Sally Go Round the Roses, The Best of Album The Jayettes
Week 4. Backatown Trombone Shorty

3. Read a book
Week 1. Girl Number 1 Jane Holland decent murder mystery, but a tad predictable
Week 2. Left Tamar Ossowski  about a single mom of 2 daughters (one on the spectrum) who leaves one with a friend and starts a new life with her other daughter.
Week 3. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler Kelly Harms started out as a decent free kindle book but. . .why must women "find" themselves only because of a chance meeting with  a dashing man?
Fat Angie e.E. Charlton-Trujillo  Quick YA book for that night when sleep just would not happen.
Week 4. There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell Laurie Notaro   Quirky enjoyable book written in a Terry Pratchett/ Christopher Moore style

4.  FaceTime with Pip

5.  Talk to each son and/or DIL

6.  Create something
Pretty much a total fail this month

7.  Rearrange a room (Can be full furniture re-arranging or just changing a few things)
Rearranged and changed things back and forth getting ready, then cleaning after they left. No room is as it was prior to their coming or leaving.
But the rearranging was more necessity than decorative

8.  Get rid of one item each day

9.  Meet up with a friend for coffee or a meal
Week 1.  Lunch with 3 friends
Week 2. Dinner with Uncle Bob
Week 3. Fail
Week 4.  Fail

10. Have an ethnic meal
Week 1. Thai take out
Week 2. Take out ziti (yes, I am counting this)
Week 3.  No idea. I honestly don't remember
Week 4. Mexican restaurant meal

11. Use the "good" stuff (china, crystal, silverware) or eat on the deck casually
Week 1. Nope
Week 2. Nope
Week 3. Nope  We tried but it is just too hot to eat outside now. I am changing this next month to include morning coffee on the deck or porch
Week 4. Lunch on the screened porch

12. Listen to podcasts 3 times per week
Week 1. The Shrink Next Door
Week 2. Watch What Crappens  Mindless yet snarky recap of Bravo TV shows I never watch. (DIL1 turned me on to this podcast and it does make me laugh)
Week 3. More Watch What Crappens
Week 4. In the Dark season 1

13. Spa Day (really means spa hour for some self indulgent "treatment")
Total fail this month

14. Fingernail polish, wear it!.
Wore it until I started moving furniture around and about. Managed to break a couple of nails so I cut them super short, removed the polish and am now just in clear coat land.

15: Contact someone I have recently been out of touch with either by phone, email, or text
Talked with my best friend from college days. It has been well over a year since I last spoke with her.

16: Have Mom up for a meal or visit
She has come up a couple of times just to visit and "swim" though she just sits on the steps in the water. She did come up for lunch once with her caretaker. No matter, she is out of the house and that is good. She also came up for a celebration meal with us Sunday night. 2 meals away from home is a new record for me being able to lure her out.

17: Try something different. The door is wide open on this one!
Other than having 7  total strangers in my home as guests I have done nothing new and different. I am going use July as my month of experimentation (maybe). 

18. Watch a Ted Talk
Week  1. Tycho Brahe, the Scandalous Scientist
Week 2. Three ideas. Three Contradictions. Or Not
Week 3.  Is the obesity crisis just a disguise for a deeper problem
Week 4. This is what it's like to live with ADHD

19. Go for a nighttime  swim
Only a couple of times this month

I guess that about sums up my June. Some things worked and some were serious misses. Such is my life. I will see what happens in July. Hope y'all all have a great month!

Monday, July 1, 2019

What really happened again

Once again I created a weekly meal plan. Some of it worked and some of it, well, not so much. Below is what I had intentions of making (or fixin' which is what a Southerner does instead of making)

1. Braised pork tenderloin, broccoli, rice (or not), French bread (or not)
2. Crack chicken over sliced French bread or caulirice, tossed salad
3. Grilled Pork chops Hotlanta slaw, baked potatoes or baked radishes (grrr keto)
4. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad, baked beans or not, sliced tomatoes
5. Veggie night, corn on the cob (or not), lady peas (or not), green beans, fried green tomatoes, okra
6. Cedar planked salmon, grilled romaine salad, asparagus, mashed potatoes or cauli mash
7. Hamburgers, fries (or not), coleslaw

As usual my intentions, actions, and actual cooking did not exactly coincide. Such is life, or at least my/our life.

Monday: I knew I had a pork tenderloin in the meat drawer of the fridge, which is why I put this on the meal plan to begin with. I also knew I had broccoli, but had forgotten about a carton of mushrooms that had to be used.
Pork tenderloin, broccoli, grilled mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, leftover rice (or not)

Tuesday: Mom had an appointment with her cardiologist much later in the day then we normally make it. Usually we plan on a relatively early visit so we are in an out quickly. This time it did not happen that way. They were backed up to begin with, then we sat waiting to be called. She finally was called for her EKG then we were sent to another room to wait, first for the nurse, then for the doctor. By the time we were finally through drive time traffic had started which made our normally 15 minute drive about 45 minutes. TheHub and I got home at about the same time with nothing cooked and nothing taken out of the freezer to cook. We both decided to go to a little Mexican place close by that is cute, has a lot of atmosphere, and has live music on Tuesdays.
Tortilla-less fajitas without rice or beans.

Wednesday: Early in the morning I pulled some boneless skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer for the white bbq chicken meal. While I was looking for the chicken I found about 1/2 pound of ground pork and an almost equal pack of ground sirloin. I thought I would grab those and make some casserole for later in the week. I also had a lot of peppers, onions, tomatoes and the remainder of the big ass zucchini. A quick chop and some seasonings and browning and I had the beginnings of a casserole. I put it in a dish, grated some cheese for the top and stuck it int eh fridge for another day. Right before I was ready to start grilling the chicken an afternoon thundershower popped up. Good thing I had put that casserole together. A quick bake in the oven and a less than stellar meal was ready. I put tortilla chips on TheHubs plate, sprinkled shredded lettuce over them then put some of the casserole on top of that, sprinkled it with finely chopped onions and diced tomato  with a squirt of lime.
Some unnamed thing with ground pork and ground sirloin, lettuce,  and tomatoes 

Thursday: The sun was shining and the chicken was thawed. Nothing to plan that was not already in the works the day before.
White BBQ chicken, cauliflower"potato" salad, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes

Friday:  This was a super lazy evening, with a lot of porch sitting and talking.
Hamburgers with all the fixins' leftover caulitato salad, leftover coleslaw

Saturday: We worked around the house then later in the early evening TheHub wanted for us to go shopping to try and find a couple of things for the grill. It needs a new grate to hold the briquettes, plus it needs some new ceramic briquettes. While we were running around we decided to go out to eat.
Salad with grilled chicken

Sunday: Son2 needed to use our smoker to cook some pork butt for the Monday participants at Independence Place. While he was doing that I asked if he would also smoke a brisket in preparation for the 4th of July. We really do not do a big celebration, but we do generally eat a traditional BBQ meal. With 13 pounds of brisket, we had plenty to have for dinner Sunday and lot leftover for the 4th. Additionally we decided to have a celebration dinner. Son2 and DIL2 just bought a new to them house. Mom ate with us so it was a double win. A celebration and it got her out of her house.
Smoked brisket (yum), mashed potatoes, broccoli, French bread, ice cream

And this is what I plan (plan being the operative word here) for this week.
1. Smoked brisket, corn on the cob, watermelon, sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, strawberry pie 
2. Smoked sausage and cabbage, grilled keto bread or French bread
3. Veggie meal: Okra, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, peach cobbler
4. Hot dogs (special request by TheHub), coleslaw chips
5. Grilled chicken, rice or not, tossed salad, grilled veggies
6. Pulled pork (leftover from Son2's bbq) baked beans, potato salad or caulitato salad
7. Big salad dinner. No clue what it might be yet. French bread or keto roll, coconut pie

And these are my plans, as of this minute. But by now we all know they are subject to change and most likely will be changed.