Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Sounds of Wednesday


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tuesday 4

Since this pandemic and accompanying isolation occurred I have a difficult time remembering what day of the week it is. Back in my old normal, I had events on different days of the week which kept my days in check. Now when I actually remember it is Tuesday, I follow 
Annie at Tuesday 4. Each week she posts 4 questions, and each week it gives me food for thought.

This week let's talk about books and TV programs you enjoy.

1. Are you enjoying a book right now and would you tell us about it? I am reading 3 books right now but I am enjoying one of them. I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and it was one I found there. From the reviews I thought it would be much better than it is but I have this self inflicted rule that once I start a book I have to finish it. So I am currently muddling through Magical Midnight Madness by K.F. Breene. I am also reading a Max Lucado book, And The Angels Were Silent, and well as The Vatican Pimpernel By Brian Fleming. All my life I have been a book juggler.

2. Do you have a list of books you are looking forward to reading in the near future? 
I always have a list of books, but sometimes I change the order I intend to read them.
Right now I have a few books in my reading queue 
The Other Emily  Dean Koontz
Everybody Lies   Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
The Sewing Machine  Natalie Fergie
The House of Mirth Edith Wharton

3. What's on television (or YouTube, etc.) at your house?
Currently we are watching the NATGEO genius series Aretha (Watchinng via HULU)
We tend to watch streaming services rather than network television

4.What series have you followed religiously and why? (can be TV or book series)
Game of Thrones tv series
All of the Fire and Ice series that has been written so far, but after watching the last season of GOT I will most likely not read the remaining books when/if Martin ever finishes them. 
I read the books and got hooked on the story so I was more than ready to watch the HBO version. I thought until season 4 of the show it was brilliantly done, but the last two seasons turned to crap.
I do follow This Is Us, but I DVR it and watch several episodes at once.
And my guilty pleasure is Married at First Sight, which I also DVR and then just listen to as I go about my business in the house. It is mainly a train wreck, so listening is more than enough for me. But I do listen to each episode.

So hop on over to Annie's blog and join in the fun.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Dinners for the Perpetually Underwhelmed

Like every week, I make a plan and then veer from it. I truly did not stray too far off the path this week though. It was a weird week filled with either drop dead gorgeous days or deadly skies. 
I put very little thought into our meals, just using what I had available to create lackluster dinners.  I think the only thing purchased for this week was a pack of hot dog buns. Yep I am just living the life.

This is what I planned:
1. Hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw
2. Chicken and broccoli casserole, cuke tomato and onion salad
3. Fajita chicken casserole, tossed salad, rice or caulirice
4. Mac and cheese or fakearoni and cheese, lady peas, coleslaw
5. Spaghetti or zoodles with meat sauce, tossed salad
6. Keto pizza, salad
7. Take out

And this is what we really ate:

Monday: Monday night we planned to watch the basketball tournament, so we had what we fondly call a ball game meal.
Hot dogs, Cole slaw, baked beans, sugar free pudding

Tuesday: I had the meal planned and put together early in the day so all I had to do was warm it up. My beloved Sister and I worked sorting and gathering more things from Mom's and I did not know how late I would be.
Spaghetti sauce over bucatini, salad, garlic bread (AKA gussied up hot dog buns)

Wednesday: This was the treacherous weather day that never materialized. I just worked around the house then threw dinner together since I had everything basically in the freezer ready to combine.
Chicken and broccoli casserole, cuke tomato and onion salad

Thursday: This was the day the truly treacherous weather hit. There were storms and tornados for quite a while. For years when the weather was bad we would lose power, sometimes for as long as a week, depending on the severity of the winds. I was tired of having to throw out everything in the freezer that had ruined so I bought a generator several years ago. We have not lost power for more than a couple of hours ever since. I had no idea a generator was such a strong talisman.😝 Since I had power (and a gas cooktop) meal prep was never an issue, but I did go the lamest route possible.
Mac and cheese or fakeroni and cheese (cauliflower bits) lady peas (or none) coleslaw

Friday: Date night and I believe you have to honor traditions. I am wondering what I am going to do when life returns to normal. I am not sure I am going to like the idea of getting dressed up for. Friday night out. Sweats are my new best friend.
Takeout smoked chicken, collards, baked beans (or none)

Saturday:What can I say? I was just not feeling it.
Grilled cheese on keto bread with pickle slices, diet ginger ale

Sunday: This was a planned ballgame meal also. In fact we even ate in the den, which we never do. I am generally a dinner time drill sergeant and insist we eat at either at the kitchen or dining room table. I am getting soft in my old age. In fact, we even used paper plates, which I am pretty sure is at least a venial sin. I don't think it will permanently separate me from Heaven, but I am pretty sure at least someone up there must be shaking their head and tsking.
Pizza or crustless keto pizza, keto peanut mousse

So that is it for a less than stellar week of food, which, I assume, will be followed by another week of less than stellar eats. I am pretty sure no one is going to sue me.

These are my ideas for the week:
1. Fajita chicken casserole, rice or caulirice, mixed greens or coleslaw, keto cornbread
2. Soup and salad (no idea yet what kind__depends on what I find lingering)
3. Grilled tuna or steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes or caulimash, rolls or keto rolls
4. Spinach, artichoke chicken over mashed potatoes or caulimash, green beans
5. Rack of lamb, basmati rice (or caulirice), asparagus, rolls or keto rolls, some lame keto dessert.
6. Moroccan chicken over couscous (or more of that damned caulirice) tossed salad
7. Take out

Used this week
From the freezer
1 pack browned ground sirloin
1 pack cooked chicken pieces
1/2 bag lady peas
1/2 bag chopped broccoli
4 sausage patties (Sunday brunch)

From the fridge 
hot dogs
cream cheese
cheddar cheese
heavy cream
monterey jack cheese
parmesan cheese
peanut butter

From the pantry:
can of baked beans
tomato sauce
herbs and spices
evaporated skim milk
pack jello sugar free pudding
tasteless keto bread
mini sf chocolate chips

So go and have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Joys and Chaos

Each week I try and capture the joys for the week. Some weeks there are more joys than others, and some weeks the universe resets your opinions about what is truly joyful. The latter part of the 12th week of 2021 did just that.

Friday: I forgot to record this on Friday so I was having to rely on my memory for whatever joys there were during the day. Other than making substantial headway sorting through the accumulations from the lake and Mom's house the day was pretty lackluster. But then came the evening when we went to Costco. This is a sad joy but it really did bring me some serious happiness. The Keto "ice cream" bars were in stock. I like having them in the freezer for an occasional sweet treat without the carbs found in the really good stuff. Later we bought some take-out and settled in for the evening television watch party.

Saturday: TheHub went to work early and I messed around the house doing odd chores until about 3. DIL2 and Son2 came over to watch the basketball tournament here. Bama played Iona a very tight game and barely squeaked by to win. Roll Tide! Then we watched whoever played the next game. I don't even remember who it was but someone won! And though we did not get to watch it, Alabama's gymnastics team won the SEC championship!

Sunday: I was able to "see" our church service online. I have loved being able to continue to be a part of our church family even if it is not live and in person. I miss going, but there is something to be said for participating while wearing pajamas. 
This was a red letter day. It was the first Sunday in over a month that TheHub has not worked in the office. Yeah he still worked from home but that is different! 

Monday: Slowly but surely I got plants out on the front porch (which is really more of a stoop than a porch, but I like to have it "dressed"a little anyway) so it looks so much more welcoming. The laundry room started taking shape as I sorted through boxes and boxes of stuff that'd  been moved here recently. I will need to have a thrift store pickup soon because I have another load. I know this will end before long, but right now it seems like I will be sorting forever.
TheHub got home in time for us to have a quick dinner before the NCAA basketball tournament began.  We watched part of the LSU/Michigan game before watching Alabama/Maryland. Roll Tide

Tuesday: My sister and I had plans to meet at Mom's to start gathering all the small things we had left there that we wanted to keep. Mom and Dad had a few antique clocks and we were keeping them in the family. The one I got was seriously old and had never worked, even though Dad has tried to fix it and had it worked on a couple of times. It is a beautiful old clock which serve no purpose other than being ornamental from the time I was a kid (6 ish), when they brought it home from an antique store they stopped at during a trip we took to Pennsylvania.
Tuesday I loaded up a bag of things, stuck the clock under my arm and headed home. I walked in the house, put the clock on a table in the foyer and heard it ticking. I figured the movement of bringing it in the house just made the pendulum swing and it would stop shortly. I kept going back in the foyer and noticed it was still ticking, so I set the hands to the correct time just to see if they were moving. At 2 o'clock I heard a funny noise and realized the bong was coming from the clock. Freaky! I guess Dad finally fixed it!

Wednesday: Have you ever had one of those days that you plan according to the forecast? Tuesday night the oft wrong "They" told us we were going to have rain with possible storms, so I planned an inside day. Instead the day was drop dead gorgeous and I was stuck inside. My new mantra is to quit listening to "They" and to plan my day when I see for myself how it is going!
Even though I was not outside a lot there were gorgeous birds and things blooming all over the yard.
We did catch the first episode of "Aretha". I love the NATGEO Genius series.

Thursday: The joys for this day were different than most joys. We had severe weather with multi tornados all around us. Earlier in the week I had some tree work done, some big branches that were hanging over the house trimmed and all the low hanging ones removed, and I was so grateful for it. Even though the winds were high, we had no damage and no branches came crashing down. The same can't be said for subdivisions not far from us. A couple of them were nearly obliterated. I am feeling tremendous gratitude and at the same time sorrow for those who lost their homes and for those in the state who lost their lives.

And now I intend to move into the next full week of the year with gratitude for every good thing!
Go find your joys. They are there just waiting on us to recognize them!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Robert's Rules of Dinner

The meals were planned and somewhat followed, but there are always additions and subtractions to the reading of the minutes the meal plan. This week was no exception and things changed quickly.

Planned meals:
1. Keto Pancakes and sausage, (possibly eggs for TheHub), fried apples (or fried "apples")
2. Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes or caulimash
3. Meatloaf, green beans, keto cornbread, rice or caulirice, cucumber tomato 
and onion salad
4. Chopped chicken salad, dinner rolls
5. Broiled or grilled snapper or grouper, asparagus, tossed salad keto hushpuppies
6. Take-out
7. Fajita chicken casserole, tossed salad, rice or caulirice

Actual meals:

 Monday was a mostly regular day for us. TheHub worked late and I was uninspired. I had cleaned out my crisper and found some produce that was hiding from me, which changed my meal plan. Then again what is a plan without changes?
Overly cooked meat loaf, brussels sprouts, brown rice (or none)

 Tuesday was a nice day. Though the infamous "they" had predicted rain, the day was a little overcast in the morning and then the sun popped though with really warm temperatures. It was a shorts and flip flops kind of day. To me that is a message from the universe to have a summer type of meal.
Chopped chicken salad with homemade ranch dressing

Wednesday:  I freely admit to being a little more than teed off Wednesday. I had gotten up and started out St. Pat's dinner in the crock pot, chopped the cabbage and made a little keto dessert so it would be ready with no muss or fuss. The powers that be had told us major storms would be heading our way, which usually means outages. I made sure everything was ready in the event it happened. 
When TheHub finally came home from work it was late. (Much later than his usual late.) Instead of a festive meal I just plopped stuff on a plate. (No photo of anger dinner)
Corned beef and cabbage, keto grasshopper mousse 

Angry Irish music fit  for an angry dinner*

Thursday:  I planned a breakfast dinner, because I do not cook breakfast except on the weekends. I don't like food in my mouth in the morning, TheHub has been working every weekend, but keeps mentioning what he has been craving. This recipe is even a keto version and he still really likes it.  
Pancakes, sausage, fried apples or "fried apples"

Friday: Friday is our usual date night, which means we might run an errand before grabbing some take-out to bring back home and eat. We did exactly that Friday night, but I have noticed a pattern to our date night. We wear nice clothes (ok, at least acceptable daytime wear) to run our errands and/or pick up our meal, walk back in the house with the food, put it on the kitchen table then head to our bedroom to change into our date night at home eating ensembles___sweats. Yes, we are uppity like that!
Chili poblano from La Fiesta 

Saturday: TheHub went into the office early and worked until about 3:30 while I attacked the back hall which is still piled high with stuff from Mom's and the lake house. Afterward Son2 and DIL2 stopped by to watch the ballgame. I invited them to stay for dinner but they declined, so instead of cooking TheHub and I decided to grab some take out__again. 
Chicken, coleslaw, green beans, biscuit

Sunday: More and more ballgames to watch! We had them on off and on all day and even though our team was not playing we watched  anyway. I think it is a sacrilege to skip watching Loyala Marymount if Sister Jean is in the house. I am not. Catholic but I don't tempt fate when she is around. So our dinner had to be something quick after the end of the Arkansas/Texas Tech game but before halftime of Florida/Oral Roberts.  Thank goodness we can watch Oregon State/Oklahoma in peace! Color us obsessed!
Grilled tuna steak, smashed potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and olives

And onto this week's meal possibilities:
1. Hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw
2. Chicken and broccoli casserole, cuke tomato and onion salad
3. Fajita chicken casserole, tossed salad, rice or caulirice
4. Mac and cheese or fakearoni and cheese, lady peas, coleslaw
5. Spaghetti or zoodles with meat sauce, tossed salad
6. Keto pizza, salad
7. Take out

Used this week:
From the freezer:
package of cooked shredded chicken
corned beef brisket
sausage patties 
tuna steaks

From the fridge
brussels sprouts 
bacon fat
cherry tomatoes
lemon juice
sour cream
cabbage (bought for the meal)
cream cheese
heavy cream
sugar free syrup

From the pantry:
brown rice
seasonings, extracts,  herbs and spices
olive oil
swerve confectioners
Lily chocolate chips
almond flour
new potatoes (bought for the meal)

Added to the freezer:
Keto ice cream bars

Added to pantry storage:
4 jars chopped pimento
4 cans chopped chili peppers
4 cans tomato sauce

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

*I really do like Flogging Molly and listen to them fairly often, but this particular song is a little harsh.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Fried "Apples" Whodathunkit

 The keto diet is a weird thing and has many foods that you normally associate with a healthy diet totally verboten.  Like carrots, beans,  peas, and just about any fruit besides berries, but it is seriously in favor of most vegetables so I try to eat a lot of vegetables.  In fact, most days that is all I eat for lunch and  try to have salad or slaw with every night.  Even if I have something most people call potatoes for dinner, it is actually transformed cauliflower.

Thursday night we had a planned "breakfast" dinner. TheHub has been wanting pancakes, but he is going into the office 7 mornings a week leaving the house right at 6. I never make breakfast for him on weekdays. I mean, he can pour that cereal into a bowl just as easily as I can and I don't  get up at 5 to cook for anyone.  But I do  try to fix it at least one weekend morning, cause I am just nice that way.😏

Which leads to my Thursday night quandary . How was I going to make a pancake supper while incorporating vegetables into my meal?  I mean, who eats pancakes with a side of broccoli? A little internet browsing and I found a solution. Then a little tweaking and reimagining led me to this.

 Keto Fried "Apples"
1 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon neutral oil (I used grape-seed)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
apple pie spice blend
dash of ginger
1  1/2 tablespoon sugar substitute (I used half regular Swerve and half brown sugar Swerve)

In a non-stick pan melt the butter and oil. Add the zucchini pieces and cook until they are crisp tender, then add the lemon juice, stirring constantly until the zucchini is soft (but not mushy) Add the spices and the sweetener stirring well to coat and cook for about another minute or two. Serve immediately. 

This tasted remarkably similar to traditional fried apples. I cut my zucchini is different size cubes to see whether the size of the cubes mattered and it does. They need to be smaller so the flavor permeates the squash. The larger pieces tasted very good until you bit in he middle of them, an then it just tasted like zucchini. Since zucchini really does not have a terribly distinct flavor it was not unpleasant, but the smaller cubes tasted delicious throughout. 
Obviously there is a texture difference so cooking it just to the point of softness is critical for it to maintain its shape and not become mushy.

This is something I will definitely do again. I had three zucchinis and am very tempted to go ahead and do this with the other two and freeze them in individual servings. I think they would make a good addition to keto muffins, a crumble or some weird keto apple pie.

Friday, March 19, 2021

2021 Week 11 Joys.

As has become my normal I list the joys of the week here then will re-read them on New Years Eve to see that every single day of the year was filled with something that brought me gratitude and joy. This week is no different, so here are my joy for the 11th week of the year

It is worth mentioning that I picked the song for this week this past Friday because when I posted my daily joys it was a perfect day. If I had picked this song on Wednesday,, I probably would have chosen Lena Horne singing Stormy Weather, and now winter is back! (Just for a couple of days, but still___I was in spring mode so I think this is rather rude of Mother Nature!)

Friday: The day was gorgeous! It was just perfect weather and even though pollen was beginning to drift down from the trees, it was still not so bad that we couldn't have the house open. 
I got to meet Mom's sitter's baby. He is a complete doll and I told his mom if she needs someone to watch him for an hour or two I would be more than happy to keep him.
Son2 is off on Fridays and he was getting his second Covid shot. While he was out he ran by here for a maskless visit and a little afternoon basketball watching. The SEC basketball tournament is going on and Bama won! Roll Tide! 
That night TheHub and I had our Friday date night by grabbing some take out, then coming home to eat.

Saturday: This was another beautiful spring day. Instead of doing normal weekend things (I don't remember the last normal weekend we actually had) TheHub worked all day and I did things around the house. In fact until TheHub called on his way home from work I had not uttered a single word to another human.
Alabama played Tennessee in the basketball tournament and they won by the skin of their teeth. Roll Tide!
Later we went to a "new" to TheHub butcher shop. I had been there before and it was just a regular butcher shop, but when we walked in Saturday evening they had jazz music cranked up. It was really nice to be able to shop while moving/dancing to the beat. I love jazz and told the owner I might have just found my people. 

Sunday: I was here alone during the morning because TheHub went in to work very early. I just don't think working 7 days a week is a good plan and I hope it ends soon. I was able to stream our church services and then  participate in our Webex Sunday school class. 
A few minutes after our class was over I got a phone call from TheHub saying he was headed home, then Son2 and DIL2 called to say they were headed over. We all watched the SEC tournament final game. Alabama/LSU. It was a nail biter going down to the wire. In the end Bama won by 1. 
Afterward TheHub and I went out riding around. He still wants to look at potential places to move. I am going nowhere for a while*!
When we got home we watched the end of the Alabama/Auburn softball game. Roll Tide!

Monday: For some reason my sister hates March. Each time she has had things that went majorly wrong, it happened in March. We have traced it back to when she was about 10 and woke one March morning unable to walk, swollen, with a rash over her entire body, requiring a hospitalization and a boatload of tests that provided no real diagnosis. It seems that each year after that something debilitating, dangerous or disagreeable has happened to her in March. 
By the time we were teens I kept telling her that in a previous life she must have been around during Caesar's March escapade. Which leads to something I have been doing to her for as long as she has had her own phone (or office phone at her desk). I call her every year like I did Monday, pitch my voice as low as I can get it, and slowly say, "Beware the Ides of March". Then we both crack up laughing.
An aside: This year her March Madness happened on day 1. The side wall of her septic tank collapsed, but it was nothing that about 7 grand and 11 days couldn't fix. Oh crap! (Both literally and figuratively)

Tuesday: This was a lightening up day. I was straightening all my clothes in my armoire when I noticed everything was heavy and dark. At first I thought I would just move a few things upstairs and grab a few lighter spring clothes but before I knew what was happening I had lugged nearly all of my winter duds upstairs and brought all of my spring/summer wardrobe down. I do keep a few things out to wear if it is colder but recently I have been tooling around wearing only capris and flip flops. If it is cold I will have to get by with jeans and a hoodie. So my joy was getting this seasonal task done without having time to dread doing it.

Wednesday: The weather was supposed to be horrid and I had no way of moving my new vehicle in the garage. One side is still filled with stuff from Mom's and lingering lake house things, and the other has a batting cage in it. (don't ask). My sister called me early in the morning and suggested I take my car to Mom's and park it in her garage. Brilliant idea! She met me there to drive me home, so my car was safe from the predicted hail that never materialized and the debris from the tornados that did not happen here either. I am truly saddened though for the people whose homes did get hit by them.

Thursday: I had a surprise visitor. My DIL2 was working near me and had some time between patients, so she came by to visit/kill some time. Then my sister drove over to take me to get my car from Mom's basement. It was a banner morning. 2 humans were in my house at the same time. It was so nice to be able to see them and to laugh and talk for a bit.

* There is a codicil that would make me move. If we got a phone call out of the blue from someone who said they wanted our house as is and offered a cool million, I could be out in two weeks. But the chances of that happening are about the same as me being a size 8 by summer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Oops, I forgot!

 This is my traditional St Patrick's Day post. I forgot it until just a few minutes ago, but it is still St. Pat's in some time zones. It is a real television news clip from Mobile, Alabama. I just want the rest of you out there to know you cannot laugh at us more than we laugh at ourselves.

                   Now who wants to go Leprechaun hunting?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday 4 All About Food Prep

I follow Annie at Tuesday 4. Each week she asks four questions and this week it is all about cooking. Hop over there and join in.

1.  What is the most valuable kitchen utensil you have or one you use often and could not live without?
8 inch chef's knife and a paring knife. I would advise anyone just starting out to buy these two knives and get the best ones you can afford. But it has to "fit" your hand, so you really need to do an in store "test drive" first.

2. Do you have any fancy gadgets like air fryers, etc in your kitchen? How are they working out for you?
I bought an instapot and never used it after owning it for a year and a half. I gave it to Son2, and I am not sure if they have used it or not. 
I have an air fryer and I love it. There is rarely a day I do not use it for one thing or another. 
I have a zucchini spiralizer that I use regularly. 
I also have a kitchen aid mixer, but generally opt to use the hand mixer because it is easier unless I am mixing a huge recipe or making multi recipes I would use a mixer for.
The food saver is great, but I only use it for foods I plan to store in the freezer for long storage

3. Do you have any step or labor saving ideas that make cooking and meal preparation easier?
Make a shopping list the then take a picture of the list. I can't tell you how many times I have left the grocery list on the kitchen table, but I always have my phone with me. The photo of the list has come in handy so many times, and saves me from return trips to pick up what I forgot.

4. What is your favorite recipe of all time? Would you share it with us? 
I am not sure I have a favorite recipe, but I have seasonal favorites
I do make this year round and it is not necessarily a favorite but it is a staple. I make this about 2 times a month.

Pimento Cheese (base recipe)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 small jar of chopped pimentos, drained
1/3 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
couple of drops of hot sauce
ground pepper, optional

Let the shredded cheeses sit on the counter until they have softened a bit. Then use a mixer at slow speed to break up the shreds into smaller pieces. Next add the mayo. This is a matter of personal preference. I like mine with less mayonnaise, but TheHub likes his with heavy mayo. Still using the mixer combine until it is a spreadable consistency. Again this is a preference thing. We like ours with some of the cheese still a bit chunky. My mother liked hers mousse like and would make hers in her food processor so it would be smooth (ick!) 
After the cheese and mayo are thoroughly combined stir in the pimento cheese and hot sauce.

We eat it like this sometimes but I add  any or any combination of the following if I am in the mood.
minced green onions
minced jalapeños
lemon zest
bacon crumbles
minced celery
minced bell pepper
chopped pecans
My personal favorite is a combo of green onion, jalapeño and pecan bits.

TheHub loves it as a sandwich spread on bread (never toast). 
It makes a wicked grilled cheese (my favorite), but I usually eat it on celery sticks or cucumber slices.
It is good on crackers of all kinds and is wonderful stirred into hot mashed potatoes or grits.
It is not good by itself though. It like to have company when it is eaten!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Dinner Time!

A plan is only as good as the idiot who planned it. I blame the universe! 
And Beware the Ides of March!!!

This was planned:
1.Caulitato/fennel soup, dinner rolls, tossed salad
2. Meat loaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash, green beans, cornbread
3. Chopped chicken salad, dinner rolls
4. Broiled or grilled grouper or snapper, coleslaw, keto hushpuppies
5. Steak, salad, asparagus, baked potato or not.
6. Macaroni and cheese, or fakearoni and cheese, peas, coleslaw, keto cornbread
7. Take-out

This happened:
Monday: It was a gorgeous night, perfect for firing up the grill. (OK, in reality it was a perfect night for lighting a match and sticking it near the gas jet. The grill then fires itself up.) I forgot to take a picture of the meal though. TheHub and I do not eat like we once did and now split a T-Bone or Porterhouse, so imagine a half of a steak, on a plate.
Steak, tossed salad, dinner rolls or keto roll

Tuesday: TheHub has been craving rotisserie chicken from Publix and offered to stop and pick one up on his way home. Does this look like the face of an idiot?
Rotisserie chicken, couscous (or none) broccoli spears, sliced cukes, dinner rolls or keto roll.

Wednesday: I had planned on grilling fish, but TheHub called and said he would be a little later for dinner, and fish does not hold well. Instead I decided to use something I had just bought that day. Aldi was doing a St. Pat's promotion and had bangers (sausages) on sale so I got them. They tasted fine but had the texture of Vienna sausages. I am a tactile eater and that makes them a never eat again for me.
Irish sausages over a bed of kraut, mashed potatoes (or none), some of that incredible pickle salsa. 

Thursday: TheHub called right before I was starting dinner to tell me he was going to be later than his normal late. I put the brakes on the meal I was planning and started something that I could cook, but would hold easily. I was planning on having it this weekend anyway, so it was just a small change.
Keto caulitato* fennel soup, grilled cheese sandwich made with real bread or a sponge keto bread.

Friday: Though he has been a pretty good sport about my extreme caution with Covid exposure, TheHub asked if we could go out to eat and sit outside. Normally I might say yes, but the restaurants I have seen with outdoor dining are filled to capacity and I was just not willing to go quite yet, even though the weather was perfect for it. Maybe we could take baby steps and start by having a late lunch somewhere. Instead we did the take out thing. Sadly I turned down a really nice meal al fresco to wind up with this.
Capt'n D's grilled fish with green beans and coleslaw

Saturday: TheHub had been talking to some of his friends about a "new" butcher shop. I think it has been opened for about 8 years. I have been to it but he had no idea it even existed. He worked from about 6 until 4:30 and called on his way home to see if we could drive there to see what they had. Uh, meat! Anyway we picked up a few things which changed our dinner plans. Sorry, I ate it before I thought about shooting a picture!
Grilled burger patty, coleslaw, peas and carrots (or none), rolls or keto bread

Sunday: TheHub worked about half of the day, then came home and we spent the afternoon and early evening doing various things. Long story short, I forgot to take anything out of the freezer. It was about 7 and with the return to daylight savings time, my internal clock is off.    I had not even begun to think about dinner. This was when I was very glad we keep a well stocked fridge and pantry.
Antipasto salad with homemade Italian dressing (OK, olive oil and wine vinegar, with Italian seasonings , salt and pepper)

Possibilities for this week:
1. Keto Pancakes and sausage, (possibly eggs for TheHub), fried apples (or fried "apples")
2. Cornedbeef, cabbage, mashed potatoes or caulimash
3. Meatloaf, green beans, keto cornbread, rice or caulirice, cucumber tomato
and onion salad
4. Chopped chicken salad, dinner rolls
5. Broiled or grilled snapper or grouper, asparagus, tossed salad keto hushpuppies
6. Take-out
7. Fajita chicken casserole, tossed salad, rice or caulirice

Needed to make:
Keto cornbread
Normal people cornbread
Keto dinner rolls
Keto cookies (I have been craving a cookie)

Storage used for the week: I did not use much at all from storage this week
From the freezer:
Porterhouse steak
keto bread
sausage patties (breakfast)

From the fridge:
heavy cream
fennel bulb
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
mini peppers
pickle salsa
eggs (breakfast and baking)
pickle salsa
black olives

From the pantry:
spices and herbs
peas and carrots
instant potatoes
pepper rings
cocoa powder
monk fruit sweetener

Added to the freezer: 
2 boxes (18 count) breakfast sausage
1 pack andouille sausage
1 more corned beef point cut (Aldi 1.99 pound)
2 salmon filets

Needed for the week? Cabbage, other than it unless there is some serious stock up ad I am staying out of the grocery store this week

Now go have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all

*I did not tell TheHub I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. He still does not know and thought the soup was very good. If the cook is doing keto, everyone who eats here does it too, to some degree!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Pie for Pi Day

 I am currently doing that keto thing, but did not want to miss out on the joys of pi day. If nothing else I am patriotic and will observe national holidays, but I also did not want to spend the time (or carbs) to make a keto pie crust. Looking through all the keto pie recipes I found, this one popped up. I am not going to post the recipe here since anyone who is interested can click and see it for themselves. Instead this is simply a recipe review and what I will do differently next time.

I am going to begin with the instructions for making it. They are specific about using a wire whisk to blend everything. The only reason I can see for that is they assume if you are making a keto pie you are probably chunky and need the exercise whisking provides. A hand mixer set on low would be perfect and blend things a little better. Next time I will use it and if it matters that much I will twirl my wrists while the pie is in the oven for the same amount of physical activity!

I love chocolate and think it should be a food group of its own, but this pie was too chocolaty for me. Next time I will reduce the cocoa powder by about 1/4.  I did not have the stevia glycerite (whatever the heck that is) but the sweeter was supposed to be the equivalent of a cup of sugar. I used monk fruit instead and found it a little too sweet. (TheHub, Son2 and DIL2 did not)  I will also reduce the sugar substitute by a couple or 3 tablespoons.

My final beef with it was the cooking time. I used the convection function on my oven and set it to 325 as instructed, then followed the directions as given. It needed a bit more cooking time, because after it set for the full four hours after cooking, it was still virtually impossible to get out of the pan as a slice. (Look at the photo and you can see how wonky it is) I will bake it a little longer (maybe 40 minutes total).

Oh and the buttered parchment paper did not do squat other than tear apart when the pie was cut! Save your paper and time!

Other than this is was definitely tasty enough to try again and was a good quick way to celebrate pi day!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Small joys are still joys!

And so the 10th week of 2021 is over. Thus far, the year has been anything but stellar, but I truly hope with the vaccine being administered nationally that a lot of the restrictions can be safely lifted without complacency on everyone's part. 
Today is March 12, a day for me to remember Mom, and also it is Alfred Hitchcock Day. Normally, I would have no idea it was Hitchcock's day, but Alexa told me about it this morning, so I am wondering how to incorporate honoring Mom and celebrating Alfred all at the same time. Maybe I should wait until twilight, go stand on the deck, look skyward and in a deep voice say "Good Evening, Mom". In truth, if they were here both Mom and Dad would be laughing if I did that.

 Friday: My Beloved sister mentioned a show she and my BIL have been watching, Tell Me Your Secrets. If you enjoy a mystery series, do not begin this unless you plan on binging. I would not call it a great show and there were some serious believability issues, but it sucked me right in and by the end of Friday night I had watched/listened to 5 episodes. 

Saturday: TheHub worked most of the day Saturday while I watched/listened to several more episodes of Tell Me Your Secrets as I did some more organization and housework. (Yes, I finished it!)

Sunday: I stayed in our bedroom (I was reading a book and lost track of the time) until our online church service was mid-way over, so I had to watch it later. After it was over we had our Webex Sunday school class. It was great seeing faces and interacting (even virtually) with our friends.  Later in the afternoon we drove around looking at other potential neighborhoods. (TheHub's idea) I am still not interested at all in moving!  

Monday: Made some huge gains getting some of the lake place stuff sorted, out away or put in boxes to donate. I fondly call it regaining the living room and dining room. The basement, well, that is another story entirely.

Tuesday: I forgot to list anything on Tuesday that gave me great joy, but there are always small joys. Some days just waking up to a spring day, seeing the cardinals nesting in the back yard, and the new neighbor's cat who looks like a tiny leopard is joyful. I did finish the book I was reading and began a new one.

Wednesday:  Beautiful spring day, perfect for grocery shopping? It would have been a perfect day for so much more_______after more people are vaccinated, right? Happily, I also finished reading the book I started Tuesday.

Thursday: My sister and I met at Mom's house to get all of Mom's tax information in order and off to her accountant. I am unsure if the joy is getting everything together or if the joy is the relief of never having to do it again for Mom. Nonetheless it was joyful! Then I made a serious mistake Thursday night. I started reading a new book and once I start one I can't put it down.

Have a great week and celebrate the joys you find daily. The choice is ours to look for happiness.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


I follow Annie at Tuesday 4. Every week there is a theme with 4 questions pertaining to it. They either make me reflect on my attitudes, future desires, or memories of the past. This week takes me backwards time to remember trips we have taken. Hop on over there and join in the fun.

How far have you traveled and where did you go? 
The farthest I have traveled is to England

Do you think the hassle of travel is worth the trouble?
Most of the time it is more than worth it. I keep my quart size plastic bag packed at all times so when we travel by plane it is ready to toss in my backpack. I also have a tote I keep packed so I can be ready at the drop of a hat to travel by car. I can throw clothes together in no time and can personally be completely packed in less than an hour. Even though I am the female in our household, I travel much lighter than TheHub.

Are there places you would like to visit or have plans for visiting?
As soon as we I feel comfortable traveling we will fly to Portland and to New York. We also have plans in the not too distant future to visit Sweden. 
TheHub is nearing retirement and we are going to rent an RV, take a few trips to see if we like it. If so, we are seriously considering buying one and traveling around the states, which is why we are going to rent first. Who knows? This may be a good idea only as a concept.

What trip was the best you've ever had?
We have had a boatload of really good trips and I hate to rank one as better than the others but two of the most memorable were both beach trips. One was when I was a teen and the other was when my older sons were a young teen and pre-teen

When I was younger we stayed at the same beach place every year. There were a lot of families who also stayed at the same place yearly, so each trip we ran into kids we had met in prior years. When I was 16 or 17, there were about 30 teenagers all within about a 3 year age gap who were there. Some were old acquaintances and some were brand new. There was no end to the beach volleyball, softball, swimming, and snorkeling fun during the day, then at night we would all gather on the beach and talk. 

When my older sons were younger we stayed at the same condo facility where a lot of their friend's families stayed.  One particular year one of our sons had a yellow rubber dingy meant to hold maybe 5 adults, which meant 12 (or more) young guys. They spent the days paddling much too far out, snorkeling and diving to see what wonders they could find.  All the parents sat on the beach talking and watching them have fun. Then the nights were spent with the guys hanging out, crabbing or going to some of the night time fun places. They still talk about what a great time and trip that was.

Monday, March 8, 2021

We Ate and We Didn't

I am looking out my window today and see a near perfect spring day. Though I know the weather can change on a dime I am still calling it spring. This is one of my favorite spring jazz tunes. Son3 actually played this as one of the songs on his audition tape when he was applying to school, so it is not just a great song but has good memories attached.

I am still trying to use what I have on hand vs. going to the store for anything but essentials. I am giving myself a little grace this month and if I see something for a decent price that I really want, I will go ahead and buy it guilt free. The same will happen for anything I see that is a true stock up price.

When I inventoried the freezer last week this is what I thought our meals would be:
1. Broiled or grilled fish, coleslaw, keto hush puppies (TheHub has been asking for either grouper or snapper)
2. Big salad meal, peanut butter mousse
3, Leftover pork chops, turnip greens, corn bread, applesauce or none
4. Chili, cornbread, coleslaw (weather dependent, it's been kind of hot here lately)
5. Cottage pie, with either coleslaw or tossed salad
6. Something cooked on the grill (possibly tuna steaks or T-bone) over couscous or caulirice, tossed salad, rolls
7. Take out

And this is what we actually wound up eating:
Monday: It was a rainy dreary day, perfect for staying at home and getting a lot done__or reading. Looking around my house it is fairly easy to see which choice I made. Fortunately I had all the leftovers from the doggy bag TheHub brought home the other night. All I had to do was a little slicing and warming, add some greens and a little balsamic to the sprouts, make the BBQ sauce and throw coleslaw together.
Sliced pork with keto BBQ sauce, Brussels sprouts and collards with a balsamic reduction, mashed potatoes or none, coleslaw.

Tuesday: It was a bleak cold windy day. I would have loved staying in with a fire in the fireplace and a good book. Instead I had to run a few errands and meet my cousin at Mom’s house. Lucky for me I started dinner in the crockpot before I left for the day. 
Chili, fennel slaw, and keto cornbread

Wednesday:  THeHub called and asked if it would be OK for us to go out to eat. He had a stressful day at wrk and just wanted to ride around a little then pick up anything except for what I had planned for dinner. We were originally going to go to Captain D's but their line was long and they are kind of slow. Instead we decided to go to our standby. Purple Onion's gyro salad

Thursday: Since TheHub did not want what I had planned for dinner Wednesday night so  I moved it to Thursday night. We are not wasting food here! Luckily I had not put it together Wednesday so Thursday's dinner was a simple assemble and bake process.  Nothing easier!         Shepard's Pie, coleslaw, pickle salsa

Friday: We did takeout as usual for our Friday nights. We feel a need to keep our traditional date night in a way that is comfortable for us. We have both had the second round of the vaccine, but I am still wary of the sit down restaurant experience. I know the kitchen is the same for take out and dine in, but at least with take out I can limit my exposure from other diners. A special thanks to La Fiesta's employee, Jenny, who makes takeout so simple with curbside delivery. (I forgot to take a picture)
La Fiesta's Pollo Loco or The Mexican Plate

Saturday: There was enough chili leftover to have it for dinner. I did not mind having a warmed over meal. (No point in taking a picture of a single bowl of chili)
Chili with beans or cauliflower florets, tortilla chips or cheese crisps

Sunday: We ate lunch late so we decided to forego dinner, except for a snack. (You all know what an apple looks like, and I know they are not keto but I wanted an apple.)
Apple, a slice of cheese and 2 pieces of keto chocolate
What's potentially up next?
1. Caulitato/fennel soup, dinner rolls, tossed salad
2. Meat loaf, mashed potatoes or caulimash, green beans, cornbread
3. Chopped chicken salad, dinner rolls
4. Broiled or grilled grouper or snapper, coleslaw, keto hushpuppies
5. Steak, salad, asparagus, baked potato or not.
6. Macaroni and cheese, or fakearoni and cheese, peas, coleslaw, keto cornbread
7. Take-out

Used for the week:
From the freezer
small pack collard greens (about a cup)
2 pieces keto cornbread
1 pack ground chuck
1 pound pack ground lamb
small pack green beans
2 packs frozen caulimash

From the fridge:
Leftover pork
leftover brussels sprouts
leftover instant mashed potatoes (I obviously have no shame)
leftover tomato paste (about 1/4 can remains)
fennel (purchased for the week)
chicken broth
keto steak sauce
lemon (purchased for the week)
John's coleslaw dressing
ranch dressing

From the pantry;
red onion
1 small tomato sauce
2 cans tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
keto chocolate

Added to the freezer: (I know I shouldn't but great deals happen rarely)
2 corned beef point cuts (Aldi purchase for 1.99 per pound)
2 pounds ground sirloin, browned (marked down for quick sale)
1 pack Trader Joe's turkey corn dogs (TheHub's purchase)

Added to food storage:
5 cartons of mushrooms, dehydrated
2 cans tomatoes (replacement for the 2 used)

Go have a great week on plan, off plan, or with not plan at all!