Thursday, November 10, 2016

Living in Stars Hollow

...where Kirk is the enigmatic, insightful, deadpan orator....Babette eats oatmeal....and the town is a character in itself....oh, how I wish I could live there. Too bad it's fictional.
Watching strange, endearing characters in a show seems fun, quaint, and homey in an extended-family kind of way.
It makes me think of my own family, and how I am the female Luke to the rest of the dysfunctional clan. I'm not better. I'm not worse. But I definitely have my own inner code. I deal in fairness. Right and wrong. Always doing the right thing no matter how I feel about the situation. And I grumble about having this inner compunction of doing the right thing only to be crapped on....and yet I know I will do it again.

And my inner code of fairness means I must separate from the broken and unfair. Even if it means less contact with biological relations.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Who Wants $500 of Free Meat?

I love Zaycon. Good products, lower cost than most grocery stores. I purchase chicken a few times a year, and I *always* save money! I know one family that saved over $950 in one year by using Zaycon.

This is not an autobot post. I haven't been taken over by nanites. What I am is ecited at the chance to win $500 worth of free product from Zaycon!

You should enter, too!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pandemic Assholishness

I’m having back pain after moving a huge TV. My FIL is yelling at his daughter, while simultaneously babying his 27 year old asperger’s electrical engineer grandson. Neither of which deserve what they’re receiving from him.
I’m getting angry. FIL is being rude and cruel, and I’m in pain. When it’s time to leave, my SIL and husband are in the kitchen, I stand up to say goodbye. But instead of giving my FIL a kiss on the head as I usually do, I turn to look at him and I raise my voice, “You need to quit yelling at her! And quit babying him! You are not doing him any favors, and he needs to grow up and get a real job!’ and I turn and walk out of the living room.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lemonade Truffles

I started today out with a healthy fruit salad. It wouldn't be right not to have a light sweet to balance out the day, now would it?

I was tromping through Pinterest like I am wont  to do ...daily. Yes, I'm a Pinterest junkie. Electronic hoarding at its finest! Well,  I came across a lemon truffle recipe, started to read the ingredients and then my tablet went wonky and I lost the link.
I didn't even get to finish reading it! All I remember is lemon cake mix and butter.

Anyway, I decided to try to come up with my own version when I realized I don't have lemon cake mix. Story of my life. I don't usually keep that type of thing around as it makes it too easy to eat poorly.
But, I did have a small box of Jiffy Yellow cake mix left over from a dump cake I made a couple weeks ago for a friend's going away party.

So I glided into the kitchen to make my own concoction.  I plan to take them to work...that way I can eat one or two and give away the rest. Great plan, right? See the pattern?  Make it and take it!

Ok- here's what I did:

1 box Jiffy Yellow cake mix
3 caps lemon juice
3 T Butter, melted
2 1/2 t Lemon Juice powder
Sugar for rolling (I used 1/3 c and had leftovers)

I forgot to take a picture until I was half-done rolling!
Dump your cake mix and lemon juice into a bowl. Mix well. Add lemon juice powder to melted butter, mix well, and add to cake mix.
Stir well until everything combines.

Add remaining 2 t lemon juice powder to sugar

Pinch about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon mix and roll into a ball. Roll in lemon sugar.
Place on plate. Repeat until mix is gone.

These are good with coffee or tea, great for a luncheon or as a small treat to tucked into your husband or kids lunch.

Have fun!

PS- Lemon juice powder does contain corn syrup solids (NOT high fructose corn syrup!). You can substitute the lemon juice powder with lemon peel powder if you prefer.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Healthy Summer Fresh Fruit Salad

Oh how I love strawberries. I really do. When they are out of season, I purchase the big bag of frozen strawberries from the wholesale club.
I also love blueberries. Back when I was a wee lass, my family took our vacations 'back east' to Nova Scotia for mom's family reunions. I loved them. Especially since grammie had wild blueberries growing on her property. I remember many hours with grammie spent in her kitchen along with my aunts making blueberry jam from scratch. Yes, blueberries bring back fond memories for me.

Well, I was down to my last few frozen strawberries, a pineapple that desperately needed cutting up, and time on my hands.
I looked around at the fruit on hand and decided to throw together this simple, fresh, fruit salad.
It screams summer. It really does...and healthy?  Talk about getting your daily allowance of fruit! You'll need someone nearby to take the bowl out of your hands and spoon out of your mouth.

I find myself going to the fridge and grabbing a small bowl of this fruit salad at least three times a day. I hope you love it as much as I do. This salad is so versatile. You can use honey and add basil, you can add a pinch of cinnamon and honey. You could even add a dash of nutmeg or even some mint.

Amounts can be varied to your liking, but the basic is this:

5 strawberries, cut in half or quarters, lengthwise.
1 banana
3/4 c blueberries
1/2 fresh pineapple, sliced in small chunks
2T sugar (or sweetener of choice like stevia or honey)
Pinch salt

For the bananas, have a bowl of 1/4 c lemon juice and 1 c water handy. Slice bananas directly into lemon water and let sit until done slicing rest of fruits.
Slice fruits and place in large bowl.
Drain lemon water off bananas.
Add bananas to rest of fruit in bowl.
Add sugar and salt
Refrigerate for at least an hour. The sugar and salt helps pull liquid out of the fruit creating its own syrup. Which is fabulous, very lightly sweet and a perfect coating for the fruit.

Serve with or without whip cream. (I prefer mine without.)
This is also a great side dish to burgers or bbq!

PS-Why lemon water? Well, it helps keep the bananas from turning brown and adds another layer of fresh.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Drastic Plastic...a way to contain the mess within.

Everyone has plastic bags in a bag, right? Or is it just me?  I used to have one of those rectangular kitchen bags with elastic at the top and bottom for holding the bags....but the elastic was no match for the sheer number of bags I kept stuffing into that thing!

Honestly, plastic bags are bulky. But they are good for so many different things.
I use them to line my small bathroom trashcans. Or to iron together to make plastic 'cloth'. I haven't yet, but I hope to try to make a plastic rug out of them one day. One day.

In the mean time, my kitchen plastic bag holder went kaput. I have plastic bags in a plastic bag hanging on the rack near the back door for some time now. NO MORE!

Yes, I'm a nerd. Or a geek if you prefer. But seriously, 42 bags in a nut container? Wow! Talk about saving space. I thought about using a large plastic pickle jar...but I don't eat pickles so I don't have a plastic jar. Of course if I did, it would absolutely be holding plastic bags...and I would decorate it, too. Maybe wrap it with some contact paper? The possibilities are endless.

Monday, March 21, 2016

One Question Leads to Another

So after eating at a local sub shop the other day and having their black bean soup, I decided I *must* make a version of that soup. It was smooth, chunky, sweet, hot, and all around wonderful.
They called it Sriracha Black Bean soup. And apparently, it's a hot soup right now.

So I went to researching the ingredients, which lead to another research on the origination of food products.
Sriracha is named so for the area in which it was developed. One source lists Sriracha as being made from red jalapeno's, another from any chili pepper (usually the yellow Madame Jeanette and red cayenne peppers).
That search lead me to the Grand Exchange (aka Colombian Exchange)...because when I research a topic, it snowballs. Literally.

Did you know that before the Colombian Exchange, there were no oranges in Florida, no bananas in Ecuador, no paprika in Hungary, no potatoes in Ireland, no coffee in Colombia, no pineapples in Hawaii, no chili peppers in Thailand, no rubber trees in Africa, no tomatoes in Italy and no chocolate in Switzerland?
Fascinating stuff...this exchange and trade system.
Today we call it economics.

I mean, I knew some things, like potatoes were not from Ireland; that they were from the America's....but the sheer magnitude of foods we continue to think of as an inherent part of a country (tomatoes and Italy? Come on!) has all been a lie! (j/k)

Go. Read about the exchange. Not because you must, but because knowledge is good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Just a Bit of Fun

Because what's life without a little whimsy, right?

Last year I painted a few wine glasses for a gift and was so pleased with the result, I decided to make a few of my own.

I'm not really a painter. But I am a bit crafty in the arts kind of way. I have so many art supplies I'm thinking of giving them away. Why give them away? Because I have a horrible habit of trying something to see if I can do it, to enjoy doing it, to pass the time, whatever, and then not having the time to go back and continue doing it.

One year, I spent months painting a plaster christmas village. Dry-brushing is easy-peasy and doesn't take a lot of time in and of itself.  But once I did that village, I sort of lost interest in painting little houses.
But I at least still have the paint. Or most of it. A lot of it has dried.

Although over several occasions when my stepson would come over, he and I would take time and paint glass ornaments. We decided to focus on a different color each year. One year we did blue, we've done red, silver, etc.

So, back to the wine glasses....

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Prepping Step 1

It's not normally something people boast about. I mean, how many tv shows have preppers appearing as crazy individuals stockpiling for the apocalypse?
When the reality is, that's not how most preppers are. Oh, we plan ahead. That's for sure! It's just most of us are not that unshowered, wild-haired, off-your-rocker Grizzly Adams looking guy.

Do you purchase car insurance?
Do you grocery shop for the week?
Use coupons to get more stuff for less cost?
Put more gas in your car than what you need for the day?
Get milk, bread, and water when a storm is coming?
Have a savings account with money in it?

These are all 'prepping' ideas. I'm not kidding. Seriously. You're half way to prepping already, you just don't know it.
Prepping is short for 'prepared'. And most people like to be prepared. Some of us just do it on a much larger scale.

Why am I going into all this now?
Well, because it's the first of March...and that means gardening is coming soon. In turn, canning your bounty is not far behind.
Of course, most preppers do not stop prepping just because it's winter. But we tend to use the spring and summer months to replenish our homemade food supplies and to gather everything we need for the upcoming winter. Strange, I know. Thinking about saving up for winter when you're still in the throes of the current winter. But that's what we do. We get prepared for what we think will come next, while making sure we have enough to last six month, a year, two years. Whatever we can afford to do, to get, we do.

Because you can't always count on anyone but yourself. We don't rely on the government to take care of us. We don't rely on a neighbor to share what they have with us. We don't bum rides constantly to get places. We don't expect others to take care of things we can do ourselves with a little pre-planning.
Prepping means going back to a simpler time when you grew as much of your own food as possible. Traded with others if needed. Raised chickens, had a dairy cow, hunted your own food. Whatever it took, you did it. You dealt with whatever life threw your way and you became prepared for what you thought would come next.

Some preppers live in the city. Some in the country. Rural, urban, suburban. It doesn't matter. The idea is the same. Take care of your own, and make sure you have enough to last any possible duration. A week. A month. Six months. A year. Two years. Five years.
Whatever you can do, do it. Get prepared. No matter where you live, there are things you can do.

I will try to share more of what I do over the next few months. With pictures, if possible. I will share with you stories or activities from other bloggers that I think you might like.
And of course, I will throw in some of my own nightly cooking recipes.

Here's your first prepping tip:

Stock the food you like.

If you don't like it, you won't eat it. Why store something you won't eat? Even if it's a good buy, you're just wasting your money, and that's silly.
30 cans of green beans are great, but not if you don't eat them.

You go grocery shopping usually on a weekly basis. Just start picking up an extra can or two of the things you normally buy.  When you get more time, make a list of what you want to obtain. Things you know you'll eat. Thinking about how often you eat something will help you calculate how many you will need for a month, six months, a year or five years.

The next post I'll go over some calculations I use, and see if I can't get a pdf to upload for you to use on your prepping journey.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Vanilla Bean Paste

I went to make some vanilla bean paste because making it is so much cheaper than buying it...have you seen how much they want for that stuff? Sheesh!

And So I started playing around with making my own....and I had one batch....and the husband knocked it out of the fridge onto the floor.

Huh. Guess I know why it's so expensive.

I'll try again another day. With pictures. Promise.