Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Hard and Fast Rules

We are mere days away from that time for those of us who were raised in the south to don our school colors, grab our shakers, and live every Saturday through the end of November either in a stadium or in front of our TV. 

TheHub and Son2 are usually at the games, and I watch them with DIL2 sometimes, and sometimes just by myself. Unless there is a road game, and then TheHub and I watch the game together, with either a ball game meal or game day snacks.

I also confess that every Saturday morning for the next few months, I will begin my Saturday mornings watching/listening to ESPN's Game Day with Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, David Pollack and the newest member of the Game Day Team, Jess Sims. 
And because enough is never enough I will flip stations to see/hear SEC Nation with Laura Rutledge, Paul Finebaum, Roman Harper, Jordan Rodgers and Tim Tebow. 

This is just how we roll every year at this time.

Bama Football Rules

1. Don't Call Me at any Time On Saturday

2. If for some insane reason you decide to text me during a game, it better be to ask me "Did you just see that play?"
Unless you are my granddaughter, I do not give a flip what you think, or think you need to know during a ball game.

3. If someone is injured, call 911 before you call me. They will answer, I probably won't.

4.  If you are confused about my weekend availability until January refer to rule #1. Even if Bama is not in the playoffs, I will still be watching__unless it is a team I really dislike. 


And I will now leave you with a big 
ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. There are a few outliers here who do not hold these same rituals. These are not my people, and I do not even begin to understand them. They probably make it a point to go places like Publix and Walmart while the games are on. Weirdos!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Plans or Exceptions to Plans?

(Oops, I forgot to post this yesterday)

Plans come and plans go, and some days I even pay attention to them. But most days I tend to go rogue and ignore them. This week proved to be no exception

1.Sloppy Joe's, coleslaw
2. Veggie dinner TBD
3. Crustless tomato pie, tossed salad
4. Out to eat (Meeting cousin, who is in town, for dinner)
5. White bbq chicken, corn on the cob, (or none), coleslaw
6. Salad meal TBD
7. Out to eat (Probably meeting BIL and SIL in Tuscaloosa)

Monday: I have ground beef and leftover tossed salad in the fridge. This meal was a no brainer.
Sloppy Joe's, tossed salad

Tuesday: It was raining too hard to fire up the grill. Instead I cooked the chicken I had thawed in an iron skillet and tossed it in sauce.
Buffalo chicken, corn on the cob (or none) coleslaw, buttered buns (keto or brioche)

Wednesday: TheHub worked late and needed to go somewhere different just to shake the work willys out of his system.
The Electric, either flatbread or the insides only of the Tchoupitoulas sandwich

Thursday: I had a ton of tomatoes for my last visit to the produce stand.
Crustless tomato pie, salad

Friday: We met my cousin and her husband along with Son2, DIL2 and TGS at The Halfshell Oyster House for dinner.
Various fish dishes, salads, oysters on the halfshell, and grilled veggies

Saturday: We were at a family event pretty much all day Saturday and were not inclined to cook anything.
Leftover tomato pie

Sunday: Summer returned and we decided it was the perfect night for grilling
Hamburgers and all the fixings.

This week I have got to use some of the sweet peppers. I am drowning in them and they keep producing like crazy. Any given day we are harvesting 4 to 5 peppers, and I can only eat so many each day for lunch. All  coleslaws and tossed salads are made  pepper dense, but please___share  your favorite dishes using sweet peppers . I am desperate!

1. Squash casserole, pink eyed peas, okra, tomato slices
2. Grilled tuna steaks,  mashed potatoes or caulimash, tossed salad, green beans
3. White bbq chicken, caulitato salad , baked beans (or none) coleslaw, keto cornbread
4. Stuffed peppers, rice, coleslaw, rolls or keto rolls
5, Keto sweet and sour chicken (have to use some of these peppers) rice or caulirice
6. Philly cheesesteak casserole, tossed salad
7. Out to eat/ takeout or Alabama football starts this week so there is the possibility of a ball game  snack type meal. Depends on whether TheHub goes to the game or not.

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

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Got a minute? For Cake!!!

 I was in the mood to bake, had taken the weekend off Keto, but wanted quick results without using my precious eggs. (I am almost out of eggs but don't want to go to the grocery store before the new ads on Wednesday) The result was a variation on the old reliable wacky cake, which for the record, my age old recipe calls a crazy cake. In fact, my grandmother made this during the war years when butter, eggs, and milk were rationed. I am sure they also  had to ration their sugar rations just to have this cake. The original recipe calls for it to be served plain or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. But what good are rules unless you break them occasionally.

Mocha(ish) cake
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4-1 cup sugar (I use the lesser amount if I plan on icing the cake, more if it is going to be eaten plain)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (white vinegar works too)
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used avocado oil but you do you)
1 cup strong coffee (cooled) or 3/4 cup coffee and 1/4 cup Kahlua (what I used)

Grease an 8 inch baking pan. Mix all the dry ingredients in the pan. Make 3 wells in the dry mix and add the vinegar and vanilla to one well, the oil to one and the coffee or coffee and kahlua to the last. With a fork mix the dry ingredients with the liquid until well blended. Pop into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Let it cool for about 30 minutes and serve plain, dusted with confectioners sugar, or wait until it is completely cool to frost.

Easy mocha icing
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter (softened)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (makes a very chocolaty frosting)
coffee. start with about a tablespoon, stir well and add more until you get the consistency you want

In a bowl mix the butter until it is creamy (use a fork, you don't need to get the mixer out for this) and add the confectioners sugar. Mix well (it will not be creamy) Add the cocoa and continue to mix. Slowly add the vanilla and coffee and stir until it is creamy. You can make this as thick or thin as you would like. If we were going to have enough people here to eat the entire cake at one time I would have a thinner glaze to pour over each piece. I made this a little thicker because I knew we would both have one piece and I did not want to be bothered saving the glaze in a separate container in the fridge to have to warm and pour over any  pieces tomorrow.

It was quick, tasty, and I got the baking bug out of my system. Good thing because I have to go back to a keto way of eating tomorrow!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This morning I woke and had to get with it to be ready for our day. We left home early and did not get back until late. I should have taken the time to hit publish when I woke Saturday morning, but I didn't. So this is barely going to be published as my usual Saturday joy post. Sue me! I was just too busy to fiddle with the laptop.

Saturday: TheHub worked again, so I hung out at the house until he got home. Then we decided to head out, with no destination in mind, just to get out of the house for a little bit. It did start raining while we were out, but that was OK. I don't drive a convertible so the rain was mainly just a nuisance.

Sunday: The weather was less than stellar and TheHub went to the office for most of the morning. I got lost in a book and did nothing but read. It was rainy and cooler so I sat on the porch with the fan going. I do like rocking and reading. 
We had surprise company when Son 2, Dil2 and TGS appeared at the door. I am glad I had put a huge pot roast in the crockpot Sunday morning. It was great to have enough to share.

Monday: I got a lot of our meal prep for the week done, which was not much because we had 2 planned  out to eat meals for the week.

Tuesday. It was still raining, so I just accepted the it was a message from the universe that I should rock and read some more. I love it when the universe talks to me like that.

Wednesday: I did some catting around and went to several stores to get some needed/wanted things. The best part of going out and about was that I only got sprinkled on and got home before the gully washer hit.
TheHub worked very late and I was not about to cook then. Instead we had a light alfresco dinner at a local neighborhood joint.,

Thursday: Talked with Sluggy. Send positive thoughts to her as she finishes the packing for the move. 
The sun did break through for a little while, then the sky opened like someone had turned on a faucet.

Friday: I planned a Hocus Pocus party for late September, and decided on the needed decorations. I have to start painting right away! 
We met cousin S and her husband D, along with Son2,DIL2, and TGS for dinner in a different part of town. It was raining at our house, but 20+ miles away the sky was clear and the sunset was gorgeous. Plus the food, conversation and company were wonderful.

That wraps up my week of joys. Have a great week finding yours, however small. They are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, August 22, 2022

Different Meals, Different Attitude

This week is going to be a different type of week for us. We have a family reunion on Saturday (Mom's family), are meeting a cousin and her husband for dinner Friday night, and have to meet TheHub's brother sometime during the week to physically hand off a parking pass for football games. ( Can I get a Roll Tide!). 
In addition to that, I want need to get back to volunteering at Independence Place. 
I'm looking forward to a good week, seeing a lot of my favorite people!
Now, if it would just quit raining!!!

Original plan:
1 & 2. Mexican pot roast: Will turn into (meal 1) beef burrito bowls and (meal 2) empanadas, with the leftovers frozen for chili in the fall, side salads or coleslaw
3. Veggie meal: Squash (leftover) , okra, green beans (already cooked), keto cornbread (made and frozen) coleslaw.
4. TheHub has a dinner meeting so ?
5. Meatsauce over spaghetti, tossed salad
6. Grilled tuna steak, tossed salad, new potatoes(?)
7. Out to eat

What we really ate:
Monday: I made the spaghetti sauce and the salad early in the morning. All I had to do late ,when he finally arrived home, was cook TheHub 's pasta and warm my palmiri noodles
Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad

Tuesday: Lots of produce was in the fridge, in addition to okra growing like mad in the backyard.
Squash, okra, green beans, keto cornbread, keto blueberry muffin

Wednesday: No one was home for dinner except me, so whatever was easiest ruled the evening.
Dip, cucumbers and peppers

Thursday: TheHub was fried and wanted to go somewhere quick to eat. I could easily have thrown the tuna steaks on the grill but he wanted (needed) to go out somewhere with people around.
The Baron Dog(sans bread to make it keto), coleslaw or original flatbread thanks to The Electric

Friday: We had an long overdue real date night at Mikey's.
Blackened cobia, with crawfish tails, house salad (me) or Grouper Oscar with crabmeat and asparagus

Saturday:I intended to have the grilled tuna steaks, but we ate fish the night before and neither of us wanted it back to back. Punt time (thankful for a stocked freezer)
Grilled steak, tossed salad, rolls or keto roll

Sunday: I am very glad that I cooked the Mexican Pot roast in the crockpot Sunday. We had surprise company for dinner. Enough was left to freeze for another meal.
Mexican pot roast over rice (or no rice), green beans, tossed salad, blueberry shortcake (or none)

I have an overstocked fridge and freezer right now and should have to buy nothing. (unless the deals at the grocery store Wednesday are great stock up values) Using what is on hand was the genesis for this week' plan.

What's on deck for this week?
1. Sloppy Joe's, coleslaw
2. Veggie dinner TBD
3. Crustless tomato pie, tossed salad
4. Out to eat (Meeting cousin, who is in town, for dinner)
5. White bbq chicken, corn on the cob, (or none), coleslaw
6. Salad meal TBD
7. Out to eat (Probably meeting BIL and SIL in Tuscaloosa)

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

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Following The Storm

The weekend began with me in a dark funk. I could not see anything but irritation and gray skies. But as usual, it just lasted a couple of days, and then I was back to my normal boring self.

 Saturday: Son2, Dil2 and TGS came by to eat burgers. TGS is an absolute delight, and I can't put into words how cheery his demeanor is. 

Sunday: I started a descent into a dark place, and found no real joy in the day. I suppose the possible exception would be the arrival of a new sauté pan I had ordered. 
Hooray for one small joy. The pan is pretty nice.

Monday: The day began in the same foul place it had been on Sunday. Then my beloved sister came over. She is planning a baby reveal for her Husband's niece and we talked about what she could do for it. She stayed for a few hours and there was a lot of laughter, a decent lunch, and some together plans were made  for the next couple of weeks. 

Tuesday: Tuesday was lovely for the most part and it was perfect for a long swim. I needed the swim badly. It was as good for my attitude as it was for my body.  
Our okra had started producing and after about 3 days harvesting we had enough for a meal. I am not sure, other than a vine ripe tomato, if anything is any better than garden fresh okra.

Wednesday: I woke extremely early and started the day getting the sheets washed and changed. The best way I know to fold fitted sheets is to never fold them at all. I just put them straight from the dryer back onto the bed. (Yes I use my clothes dryer regularly. I will scrimp and save somewhere else). 
TheHub worked seriously late, so after a few morning chores and a swim, I spent the day wrapped in a book.

Thursday: I did go out cherry picking a few grocery stores, came home, unloaded, put things away, then plopped down to read. I was more than happy  to have my reading interrupted when I got a phone call from a long ago former neighbor. After all these years we still talk occasionally, and pick up right where we left off. 
TheHub has been seriously stressed at work and called to tell me not to cook. Instead we went to The Electric for a quick bite, then ran a couple of errands. I think he just needed to see a little life outside of the office.
While we were out and near a new to me store, I asked TheHub to pull into the parking lot. He was trying to figure out something  using the owner manual of my car and was more than happy to sit in the lot and research while I looked around. My reward was seeing an entire wall of eyelashes. I have never worn false lashes in my life, and don't intend to start now, but I will admit I found seeing row after row after row of them fascinating. Obviously there is no limit to how long they can be. If I put some of them on (assuming I could actually get them to adhere) I am not sure my eyelids could support the weight.  
I just did a cursory exploration of the store because TheHub was waiting, but I am going to go back to see what I missed. 

Friday: We decided to go on a proper date night. Whoo hoo! We tried to get reservations Thursday for dinner at Hot and Hot, but all they had were seats at the chef's counter. It is fun to watch the meals being cooked but we had a lot to talk about and that is not a good place to sit  and talk. Instead we went to Mikey's. The food is good, not as good as the tomato salad at Hot and Hot, but still delicious.  We were seated at a corner table, perfect for talking. Of course starting the meal with a dirty martini helped! I don't think we have had a night out like that since our anniversary last October. There were no distractions, just good food, good company, and great conversation.  And it was really nice to get semi dressed up before going out.

So this became a much better week than it started, and once again there are joys to be found every day, even if it is just the arrival of cookware.
Hopefully Saturday will be the start of a new week filled with joys. Fingers crossed it will also be a warm sunny day. I plan to start the weekend with a long swim followed but a little time apricating on the chaise.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tuesday 4

 Today's Tuesday 4 post is all about dining out. You can find it here.

(Since we are talking about food, this JB's funk classic with Maceo Parker on sax excites the appetite) 

1 Do you like eating out with friends or would you rather have them over for a meal?  
Honestly I like both. Pre-covid, I tried to have a small dinner party at least every other month. Post covid things have been a little different and we have not entertained as much, but we have had a lot of family members for dinner at different times. 
Conversely, I love meeting people at restaurants.

2. Let's go out to eat. You pick.    Where are we going ? 
In a perfect world we would be going to Highland's Bar and Grill, but they have not yet recovered from Covid. My next choice would either be Bottega or Hot and Hot Fish Club. Since it is still the middle of summer and the tomatoes are perfect I guess we should go to Hot and Hot.

3. What are you going to order tonight?
The pre dinner beverage will be water and a dirty vodka martini.
Their tomato salad will be the start of the meal. (It is usually my meal in itself, but I am playing along) 
I will follow it with either roasted snapper or grilled grouper. 

4. Are you going to have dessert?  What will it be?
Absolutely there will be a dessert__white chocolate bread pudding with whipped cream and raspberry coulis. 

Come on and join in! Let me know what your choice would be!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Wet Hens Have Nothing On Me

I am still having a less than stellar attitude, and now it is time to plan what I don't want to do__cook (especially cook for anyone who is not going to be "present" for the meal). I understand TheHub is not enjoying this push on his time, but I also understand I don't have to like it either. This might be called the "I'm just not feeling it" meal plan.

This song contains some unacceptable language, so if you are easily offended do not listen. Though none of the particulars of the song apply to my life, the overall attitude is how I am feeling right now

What I had planned on having for dinner this week
1. Asian lettuce wraps, tomatoes and cokes
2.  Fathead dough pizza, tossed salad
3. Squash, green beans, okra, pimento cheese biscuits
4. Tomato pie, mixed greens
5.  Hamburgers with fixings, caulitato salad
6.  Thai chicken salad
7. Take out or out to eat

What really happened:
Monday: Our okra is starting to produce very well, and I had a crisper filled with vegetables.
Sautéed squash, green beans, fried okra (or none) pimento cheese biscuits

Tuesday:  I plan on trying something new to us each week. I have made these before but never like this.
Crustless tomato pie. cucumber slices

Wednesday: The day was gorgeous and gorgeous days scream cook on the grill.
Hamburgers with fixings, caulitato salad

Thursday: Days when meetings and phone calls run ridiculously late scream just grab something out of the freezer, so I did. 
Red bag chicken sandwiches with fixings, or chicken salad (Red bag chicken with all the fried stuff scraped off over greens)

Friday: Late date night
 Chicken, collards, green tomatoes or catfish, coleslaw , fries (I think but don't really remember because it was not my meal)

Saturday: DIL2, Son2 and TGS came over to eat, so we had something we knew TGS loves.
Burgers, baked beans, chips, chocolate cake with peanut butter icing

Sunday: neither of us were hungry and supper was a catch as catch can event.
Slice of crustless zucchini pie rewarmed from the freezer or peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I am totally changing the way I plan meals this week. TheHub has no idea when he will be getting in, we are eating between 8 and 9 pm, and there is no way I am going to be stuck cleaning up the kitchen that late. Instead I am going to make life easier on myself. Most days the meals I prepare will be things that can be made in advance and held until TheHub gets home. The only exception will be veggie night, because okra had to be cooked and eaten immediately, and we have okra coming out of our ears right now. 
I will also be throwing a couple of things on the grill.

What might happen:
1 & 2. Mexican pot roast: Will turn into (meal 1) beef burrito bowls and (meal 2) empanadas, with the leftovers frozen for chili in the fall, side salads or coleslaw
3. Veggie meal: Squash (leftover) , okra, green beans (already cooked), keto cornbread (made and frozen) coleslaw.
4. TheHub has a dinner meeting so ?
5. Meatsauce over spaghetti, tossed salad
6. Grilled tuna steak*, tossed salad, new potatoes(?)
7. Out to eat

*The only reason I have steak on the meal plan is speed. We have a gas grill right off the kitchen door, so having a hot grill is a piece of cake. TheHub calls every evening on his way home from work.  I can start it an have it ready to cook on as soon as he walks in the door. 
We cook the steak for 2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 1/2. If I make the new potatoes they will be cooked in advanced and nuked to warm.

I know my mood will be better, but right now I am wallowing in the pits. What I used to do as a stress reliever was to bake. There is something seriously soothing to me about baking. It is automatic and thoughtless, with delicious aromas and tasty rewards afterward.  Since I am doing keto there is not the same reaction to baking. Keto baking is not as familiar to me, and the end product is never truly satisfying.

Instead I am trying to find some other way to lift my spirits. 
I tried cleaning and that was a big no! I hate housework! 
Swimming works but just while I am swimming
Volunteering takes me to a happy place for just a day.
Reading, yes I really love reading but it is just reading.
I thought about running off and joining the circus, but there are none in town to join.
I thought about drinking heavily, but I am one of those people who can have two glasses of wine and fall asleep at the table.
Maybe I should hang out by the pool shed and try to domesticate the groundhog that lives underneath it?

I am wide open for suggestions!!!!

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

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Changes In Form Only

I have been having a little pity party of one lately TheHub has much more than normal going on at work. I do know what it is and why the past few weeks have required so much of his time (including working Saturdays and Sundays). By the time he gets home, he just wants to eat, and veg out until he falls asleep in the chair while watching TV.

I miss having him to talk to in the evenings and try to be supportive. OK supportive might be too strong of a word, but at the very least I try to keep from complaining__out loud, so I am venting here.We have been married such long time that he knows all my "tells", so I know I am not really hiding my frustrations. He did promise that when this mad rush is over we are going away for a little while. I am not holding my breath.

This week I am skipping the daily joy list. I have been so busy being pissy, and doing nothing in particular that I forgot to write things down. Some of you may still be sharp as a tack at recalling the day to day events of the week. That is not my reality right now because other things are taking up brain space. Plus once the day is over, it is over and I really don't dwell on it.

I did not swim as much as I have been, and I sure as shooting' did not clean the house. Lots of reading has been done, as well as some visiting with friends, both in person and via the phone. This week I have to get back to daily long swims, and might need to start doing 2 a day.

Pip was at overnight camp and through the miracles of technology, I could send her a letter each day via email. The payoff was a FaceTime from her as soon as she got home from camp Friday afternoon. She was talking about the letters, sharing everything she did at camp, and thanking me for including camp jokes in each letter. She shared the jokes with her cabin mates.

School has started back, which only affects my morning driving. Since I rarely have to be anywhere the first thing in the morning, the earliest time I will leave my house is after 8:30. We live in a town with a really good school system, but there are no school buses, which means all kids have to be taken and dropped off at school. That is thousands of cars added to the regular drive time traffic. I don't need to add mine to the mix.

Our temps have dropped a little and that is a huge joy and relief. It will jump back up during the week, but I am going to relish the cooler weather while it lasts. The humidity is also down and I can get in the car without my sunglasses fogging up. Simple thrills!

The groundhog is still robbing the green beans, but he has successfully eaten everything else except the peppers which offend him for some reason. I assume he is pretty content, but I wish he would visit my neighbors across the start. They had a much nicer garden, and it would be like he found himself in groundhog Nirvana.

I have tried a few new to me keto recipes. I find that most of the "breads" or "desserts" use different ingredients, take a ton of time, and almost taste good. My latest experiment was keto pimento cheese biscuits. They were fine, but I make really good pimento cheese and rather than making the "biscuits" with cheese and pimentos in it, I had rather just have a slice of Sola bread (Keto stuff found in the frozen food section of the store) with real pimento cheese spread on it. 

On the other hand, many of the keto entrees are really good. I did make the crustless tomato pie and give it 2 thumbs up! TheHub is not doing Keto, and he had 3 servings of it the night I made it. While tomatoes are plentiful and still delicious it will be in our meal rotation. 

There is nothing else going on in my life, other than some beautiful sunsets, and an incredible moon when we drove in Friday night. I have an wide sky view from one part of the yard, and we often enjoy a little star watching.

I have listened to some glorious music this week, as well as a ton of tunes I listened to as a teen. If some of you use Spotify and have created playlists, check you lists for Discover Weekly. A list of songs, based on your preferences and what you have played is created with a new list generating every Monday. Every week I find something I have never heard before.

TheHub and I were late to the Better Call Saul party and have begun watching it. Why did it take up so long?

And these are last week's joys and frustrations in a nutshell. If I really reflect, good things happened every day and this week I will make sure to make note of them. I also vow to myself to shake this insouciance* effective tomorrow after I have my first cup of coffee. Without coffee I can't shake anything!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

* I know all kinds go big words like mayonnaise, and pneumonia and thought I would try to get a few kicks in using one I have never used in anything I have written. As a lark I think it will be fun to use one in every joy post. Using a "scrabble" word will be one of my weekly joys, so don't be surprised to see me work in a  highfalutin word or two.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Moderate Success

I actually had variations of the meals I had planned 4 out of 7 possible times. I think I tied my previous record of staying on plan. When I make the plan I look in the fridge to see what needs to be used first and foremost.  Next comes checking the freezer inventory to see what is available. 
Currently I am buying very little and focusing on using what we have. Because the green beans and okra in the garden are really amping up their production, they will be included at a minimum of once a week. But as we know everything can change at the drop of a hat. 
As you have seen, I am not particularly chained to any meal plan.

What was planned:
1. Greek meatloaf, rice pilaf or caulirice pilaf, green beans, tossed salad 
2. Crustless tomato pie, salad
3. Crustless zucchini pie, cooked carrots, salad, 
4. Field peas, okra, sliced tomatoes, sliced cukes, coleslaw, keto cornbread
5. Hamburgers and fixings, cottage fries or roasted radishes
6. BBQ chicken, caulitato salad, brioche buns or keto buns or brown buttered noodles, salad, green beans
7. Take out, or out to eat

What we really ate:
Monday: We are lucky. The okra is too tall for Mr. Groundhog to reach and it has finally come into its own. 
Field peas (or none), fried okra (keto version) cold slaw, tomato slices, keto cornbread

Tuesday: This was one of those tray a new, to me, recipe
Crustless zucchini pie, green beans with carrots, cucumber slices

Wednesday: TheHub called me in the early afternoon to say he wanted to go somewhere to break up his workweek. Instead of dining out, we did a little shopping then picked something up to bring home.
Take out from Chipotle (chicken keto salad or chicken bowl

Thursday: As much as I love meatloaf, this might be my favorite way to have it.
Greek meatloaf*, rice pilaf or caulirice pilaf, Basque peppers, cuke and tomato slices

Friday: I had prefaced some chicken thighs while I baked the meatloaf Thursday night. Dinner was just a shred and zap away.
BBQ chicken sandwiches, pickles, pickled okra, chips ( or none)

Saturday: I had plenty of tomatoes to make the tomato pie, but we had eaten a late lunch, I was uninspired, and lazy.
BLT salad with primary focus on the L

Sunday: I had just finished the caulitato salad and was getting the burger patties out of the freezer when Son2 called to tell us we were on our way to drop something off at our house. (We are their storage unit while TGS is occupying their guest room) We did not have enough to ask them to eat here, but had wanted to take them out to our new favorite haunt anyway. Bonus: TGS had officially moved into their house and was with them.
Out to eat at The Electric 

I am experiencing a bit of food apathy right now and nothing sounds good or bad. Right now these are my ideas, which probably will change.
1. Asian lettuce wraps, tomatoes and cokes
2.  Fathead dough pizza, tossed salad
3. Squash, green beans, okra, pimento cheese biscuits
4. Tomato pie, mixed greens
5.  Hamburgers with fixings, caulitato salad
6.  Thai chicken salad
7. Take out or out to eat

* Some of you asked about the Greek meatloaf. I had posted the recipe a couple of years ago here

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Water Play is the Best Play

TheHub is going non-stop at work right now, so nearly all entertainment has to be something I choose to do mainly by myself. It is hot and steamy, but I have books to read, sunny days, a pool. If I want to go anywhere I certainly can, and do not mind doing things by myself, but most likely I will wait until the weather cools off a little before looking any further for self amusement.
Also this week we had a birthday to celebrate, so there was that!

Saturday: TheHub worked from home early Saturday morning and I went on a few of our usual Saturday morning errands (mainly hitting the produce stand). After that we headed across town and met Son2, DIL2 and TGS. They were looking at a house and then we met at Metro Diner for a birthday lunch celebration. We also celebrated a new member of the family.
I have mentioned before that Son2 works at a non-profit for differently abled adults. Long story short, one of the participants will be living with Son2 and DIL2 for the next 7 or 8 months. He is a charming young man whose family is moving to Little Rock, but he wants to stay in Birmingham through the winter to be in a play they are performing. 
Son2 and DIL2 volunteered to have him live with them for however long it takes. So from here on, out we told him he will be our temporary grandson (or TGS as I will refer to him from now on) and welcomed him to the family. 
I've known TGS for several years after volunteering at Independence Place, and even though TheHub had met him, he had never really gotten to know him before Saturday. He agrees with everyone else that TGS is one of the most charming and adorable folks you could ever hope to meet.

Sunday: Nothing much happened on Sunday. TheHub had to do a few things work wise so he headed to the office and I decided it was a good day to do some heavy duty food prep for the week. I should have gone swimming but I didn't, and the world continued to spin on its axis.
I read instead of exercising but that suited me just fine, more than fine in fact!
After a quick dinner, we watched a movie, but enough time passed between watching it and writing this post that I honestly can't remember what the title was. It did have Ryan Gosling and Billy Bob Thornton in it and I am sure I could look it up, but I am just not going to do it. It was a thriller and totally unbelievable, but was still a fun to watch.

Monday: The day was a little disappointing. Every morning I look at the hourly weather report for the day to plan my swim time. I am fine swimming in the rain, but generally during the summertime when it rains we also have lightning and I am not fine swimming with that. Thunderstorms were predicted for the early morning with a break until about 3, then they were supposed to resume again. I had several things around the house I needed to get done, and decided to swim at about 1.  I had only been swimming for about 30 minutes when the sky darkened and I heard thunder, so I got out, came in and changed. About 5 drops of rain fell and I should have gone back out to finish my swim but I didn't. Oh well.

Tuesday: This was a normal day, laundry, cleaning etc. until my beloved sister came over. We had some laughs and a long swim. 

Wednesday:  The biggest joy of the day was a phone call with Sluggy. And no, I did not keep her from doing her sorting and packing. Later in the afternoon the pool called to me. I had another hour +swim.
TheHub called right as I was getting out of the shower and wanted to go somewhere to break up the week. I am lucky that he likes to go shopping since I needed a few things. He wanted to go to Walmart's Everyday Market first for a couple of items before getting into the crowds at Costco. On our way home we stopped at Chipotle for a quick to-go meal. 

Thursday:  Wednesday's swim kicked my butt so Thursday was a no swim day for me. I am not sure what I did other than routine chores and reading. Plus I was in a foul mood, with no reason to be foul. I am blaming it on the stupid groundhog who has successfully eaten just about everything we have grown. (Except peppers. He seems to be pepper averse, whether they are sweet or hot)

Friday: After doing a few quick chores it was back in the pool. I swam about an hour and a half then got out and soaked in the jacuzzi for about 30 minutes. We do have the heat turned down so it is a tad cooler than body temperature, but even with tepid water the massage seat is a pretty good remedy to keep soreness from setting in.(Extreme joy!)
Though I already had dinner ready when he got home from work TheHub still wanted to go out____anywhere. 
We ate then rode around a bit and looked out at the butterscotch colored sky. (it was after the official sunset, but the sky was still gorgeous). As a treat we went to the Mexican bakery to get him something as an after dinner dessert/snack.

Look for your joys, large or small they are always out there!

May all your weeds be wildflowers!


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Pie For Supper

I have been doing keto and it is very easy to fall into a dinner time trap of eating the same two or three things. TheHub never complains about what we are eating as long as it is not repeats of the same foods over and over. Honestly it is easier to stick with keto if there are different flavors, so it works better for me to mix things up.
Add the soaring cost of meats (well groceries in general) and I am having to actively hunt recipes that will be keto compliant while limiting meat, fish and fowl. I managed to find this recipe at Sweet as Honey  which satisfied my needs for a "different" keto meal as well as being friendly with my quest for meatless meals. If you would like to see how she made hers, follow the link. I am posting mine with the slight adjustments I made to the recipe

Crustless Zucchini Pie
2 cups grated zucchini* 
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (reserve half)
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (reserve half)
7 large eggs, 
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Frank's)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I have mentioned before I don't like a lot of salt. You do you)
about 3 shakes of ground pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (chives would have been better but I had none)
1 shake dried red chili peppers
2 tablespoons coconut flour 

Heat oven to 400 or 375 for a convection oven
*Grate the zucchini. I used a box grater and grated it directly on a clean dish towel. Gather up all the corners forcing the zucchini to the center of the towel, then press the zucchini into a tight ball. Begin squeezing it until you can't squeeze out any more liquid. (I should have held it over a pot rather than the sink during the squeezing process  to catch the liquid to freeze and use in a soup or broth during the fall. Yeah, I didn't do that.

Spray a deep dish pie pan with cooking spray or coat it well with coconut oil. Put the zucchini in the bottom of the pan . Use a fork if you wish. I wash my hands a million times while I cook so I used the tools The Maker gave me and just pressed it into an even layer covering the bottom of the pan. Next sprinkle half of each type of cheese over the zucchini.

In a medium size bowl beat all the eggs together, adding the cream, milk. hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and scallions. Mix it well before adding the coconut flour, because coconut flour absorbs liquids so you want to be blending it in as late as possible. Stir in the coconut flour, mix quickly (and well ) then pour it over the zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top of the pie and bake about 35 minutes or until the center is completely set.

I suggest letting it cool for a few minutes before serving it so the slices will hold together better when they are cut

The verdict:
I intentionally cut the number of eggs from 8 to 7. I am not a huge egg fan and knew this would taste eggy, which is why I added the hot sauce and chilies. I needed something to cover some of the egg flavor. It still had some but it was not overwhelming. I served it with green beans cooked with carrots and that was it for our meal.
This was not really a pie as much as it was a frittata. It was a very tasty one at that, with a lot of leftovers. We each had a slice and there are 6 slices remaining. I am going to keep a couple of them in the fridge for lunches this week, but am freezing the rest for a later meal.

I will make this again but I will make some changes. I think caramelized onions layered on top of the zucchini would be fabulous, as well as some sprinkled minced jalapeños. I will leave out the cheddar totally and just use pepper jack cheese. I will also add a little chili powder and powdered coriander to the egg mix before pouring it over the zucchini.

Try it, you might really like it!

Monday, August 1, 2022

So Sad Some Fell Through___Not!

Another week of planning and another week of not really following it. I had asked TheHub what he wanted and he mentioned a few things, but we went out a couple of nights, and then one night neither of us were hungry so we just had leftovers. If we are not here or have no appetites, I will not be cooking requested meals. Too Bad!

This is what was planned:
1. Lasagna in a bowl, tossed salad
2. Cobb salad
3. Sloppy Joe's, green beans.
4. Pasta salad, or Impasta salad (keto version)
5. Browned buttered noodles or keto noodles tossed with parmesan cheese, broccoli, tossed 
6. Tomato pie, tossed salad
7. Take out or out to eat

This is what we really ate:
Monday: I wanted something easy and a way to use up some leftover bolognese. Zapping the dish in the microwave rather than putting it in the oven saved time and kept the kitchen cool.
Lasagne in a bowl, tossed salad

Tuesday: It was hot and I did not want to cook
Cobb salad

Wednesday: TheHub wanted to break. up his workweek and I am never going to say no when it means no cooking
Wedge salad or flatbreads from The Electric

Thursday: Again it was hot, and all I had to do was boil some rotini and wilt some cauliflower early in the morning, throw everything together and stick it in the fridge for dinner.  
Pasta salad or impasta salad

Friday: TheHub really wanted to go out to eat, but I had just finished swimming and was tired. This was our compromise.
Innards from a ruben sandwich, cucumber slices or the new fish and chips dish from Arby's

Saturday: We had taken Son2, DIL2 and TGS* out for lunch to celebrate Son2's birthday. When nighttime came neither of us was really hungry.
Leftover pasta salad or leftover impasta salad

Sunday: I did a lot of cooking for the week early Sunday afternoon. All I had to do at dinnertime was toast keto buns and do a quick warm up.
 Sloppy Joe's, coleslaw

This week's plan:  I am going to have meals that can be made and served rewarmed, since it is likely TheHub will be at work late, and I am not going to start cooking every night at 8 or 9. As usual this is subject to change based on the whims of the cook and/or those who eat here each day.

1. Greek meatloaf, rice pilaf or caulirice pilaf, green beans, tossed salad 
2. Crustless tomato pie, salad
3. Crustless zucchini pie, cooked carrots, salad, 
4. Field peas, okra, sliced tomatoes, sliced cukes, coleslaw, keto cornbread
5. Hamburgers and fixings, cottage fries or roasted radishes
6. BBQ chicken, caulitato salad, brioche buns or keto buns or brown buttered noodles, salad, green beans
7. Take out, or out to eat

Keto peanut butter pie

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

* Will explain who TGS is in my weekly joys.