Sunday, May 31, 2015

I tried it! (A daily series)

 Dinner prepared for tomorrow is salmon patties.  Mixed and assembled by my oldest child.  She takes cooking gracefully.  She loves to eat but does not appreciate/enjoy the process.  I am trying hard to encourage her to slow down and savor her meals.  To get her to enjoy the flavors before the food is swallowed and disappears.

 I try to buy and keep items she does like in the house even if I do not like them. Not a fan of tomatoes, chick peas, avocados and a few more items.  But, I do keep them for her and she does enjoy assembling them into a salad.  I guess when it benefits her the meal prep is not so bad.

 I buy the can salmon. She has learned to dig the bones out.  I know some people leave them in and she is more than welcome to skip that step when she leaves home.  I would hate to give her a short cut right now.  So she is stuck in that task and it is definitely not her favorite.

 She has made them enough she knows most of the ingredients just not the measurements.  She even started to rejoice that we didn't have an ingredient (breadcrumbs- but to her disappointment when you have bread you essentially have future bread crumbs)  Chopped up some bread sprinkled some spice and voila!

Salmon is a regular part of our meal for a meatless meal during the week.    Today we stuck with a tried and true recipe and she even has it noted in her cookbook journal for adulthood.

 We will leave the patties sit overnight but sometimes as little as a few hours.  At the moment I am not sure what the sides will be with it.  But definitely a vegetable but maybe we will throw it on a roll and have fries with it.

Meatless Monday we are ready for you!

Thank you allrecipes:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Can you hear me now?

 So I was sick on Sunday.  Enough to disrupt my sleep, enough to make me pace, open a window, feel suffocated, anxious and an odd sensation in my head.  My son was diagnosed with a horrible illness and that weighed heavy on my mind.  I didn't want to spread anything to him or get what he had. So I headed to the emergency room at 1am.  Not because I had nothing else to do and I love doctors but because I was sick. (I have been sick in the past I however never go to the doctors.)

After sitting for an hour or maybe it was two.  The accommodations were so comforting I lost track of time.  I was told: I have small ear canals (Ahh ok of all areas I want to be small I had overlooked something concealed inside my head), I have allergies  (new to me never had them before- thanks for stopping in) and my ears were not squeaky clean (I will call it that as it doesn't sound as bad).

 Well lucky me while I was there waiting on results they were nice enough to give me a special ear spa.  Oooh you haven't lived life until they pour some oil in there massage gently and rinse it out with luke warm water at the rate the water comes out of firehose at a 3 alarm fire! Peace, tranquility and hmm is that a dog I hear barking in Alaska?

Walked away from this lovely event with several prescriptions, and a recommendation to go to the ear salon (ENT)!!!  Well lucky me I went yesterday. The accommodations were great! The chair is similar to a hair salon.
Not to bad right?  Well I got all comfortable not knowing what was in story for me only knowing once again why I was there.  The staff was great and the young lady that dotted my i's and crossed my t's, and took my blood pressure assured me she would be more than happy to assist me but the doctor was there so I lucked out.

Enter doctor! He was great not just because he is from upstate NY (upstate NYer's wear this sign that other natives pick up on- Buffalo Bills logos!) but because he let me know of a great donut shop I had not yet discovered.  Great sized and flavored donuts! Yummy!!! (Did you guys know I worked out for food?)

 Well what that doctor did too my ear should not remain a secret.  There was a machine in my room I neglected to take a picture of as it appeared so innocent.  However, after you switch a bottom on and he grabs an ever so innocent looking contraption inserted into ear it becomes a vacuum!  The squeal of the machine was I think slightly below the pitch of a dog whistle as I could hear it and although he didn't demonstrate if his vacuum could pick up a bowling ball I am certain it could.  I had no idea such a thing existed.

  The corner cleaning of my head did not take too long I was out of there fairly quick and although I don't recommend you going to the ear salon.  I would say the overall experience was not that bad.  This will be penciled in at the bottom of my bucket list and crossed off. Yes!  I think I just heard a dog bark in Alaska!

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

I have been off radar due to being sick myself in addition to my youngest.  I wish I could have tested and tasted a variety of soups but I didn't.  I did however savor my favorite soup from Panera Bread, the broccoli cheese soup.

Apparently I am told they have other kinds but I have never seen them.  The other soup was that cup kind where you just add some water and wait a few minutes. Luxury it may not be but definitely a quick fix so you could get back to napping! A number one priority when your are sick.

I did have my oldest make some waffles one day.
She did enjoy pouring the batter onto the waffle maker! 
Her highlight was the finished waffle.
A finished waffle in our house gets covered in butter and jam (usually strawberry). ((note to self make fresh jam this season!))
This recipe may be just a Betty Crocker original but I use a recipe card to make it so instead of posting that it's mine or sharing a link. I will just give credit to her!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

Snack time!! Healthy time!! Two ingredients!! I rarely give out snacks and I certainly do not have them stashed in my cupboards.  We do buy them but not often so when we do get a snack here we value it and savor the flavor! However you value the homemade snack a little bit more. Maybe it's the effort (or sometimes lack thereof; like this recipe) or the sweetness that hits the spot or having them readily available at all times because you can make it at home.  Whatever your reason I present you a new recipe to add to your recipes!

2 ingredient ice cream:

See the yummy creaminess. Yes there are only two ingredients.  Two healthy components making it a good choice for your family. Dairy-free for individuals that need it or just plain want the alternative.
So I started with just bananas in a frozen state and peanut butter. 
 Put the bananas in your chopping machine of choice: blender or food processor.  I have yet to try by hand as the bananas are frozen and it may result in great difficulty. 


Ice cream.

There you go as simple as it gets. We added peanut butter to it but you can skip it.  We are a peanut butter loving family so it went in (plus sometimes I just have to follow the recipe). Spice it up we are going to add strawberries tomorrow. We have added chocolate (cocoa powder or chocolate syrup).

There you have it! A quick, easy snack with ingredients you may even have on hand right now.

Thank for this recipe:

Friday, May 22, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

 Oatmeal again?  How many times does that make? I swear when you change the flavors of your oatmeal it almost doesn't get old.  This was the first time for this flavor.  I am putting this as one of my favorites.  I have tried a baked apple oatmeal and it was by far not my favorite. The apple bits add a nice texture and juicy flavor to the oatmeal.  Again when you make your own oatmeal you are in charge of how much or little extras you put in.  We chose to add the craisins and they too were a nice addition to this meal.
A good way to start your day with a fruit serving in your bowl.

Credit for the oatmeal recipe goes to:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

  I have mentioned we buy our oatmeal in bulk.

  I don't know if it's due to the great price, our excessive oatmeal consumption, or because we are a family of 6.  I can't even remember if we liked oatmeal before as much as we like it now.  But anyways we don't just dine on oatmeal for breakfast.  We enjoy it in other forms as well.  Cookies, pancakes (I have made it into flour- genius) and granola.

 Granola another item you can save money on and make it healthier if you just made it from home.    There are soo many recipes to choose from.  We are out of honey for our favorite granola but I found a 3 ingredient recipe. (Yep, brown sugar is bought in bulk too) You can't beat that.

 We make granola bars here and plain granola to munch on as well.  We enjoy making our own blends.  The great thing about making it yourself is you can add as little or as much of the raisins or chocolate chips that you want.  I have found that nuts deter others from eating it so I slide some of those in my blend.

Voluntary help is not always hard to come by.  My little assistant will help without even asking to eat it afterwards.  She is an equal opportunity chef assistant.  Although I have not asked for her help in preparing any green vegetables; she may decline with that situation.  But, she does like granola of any kind!

Today's snack was granola!  One variety had craisins and chocolate chips and the other walnuts, raisins and craisins.

It got a little toasty regardless of me watching it.  Next time I will either reduce the time or temperature.  The end result was satisfaction from the young assistant.  She had hers with yogurt (and not the mix with nuts)!
 Recipe credit goes to:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

I hate yeast! I love bread! I also do not have one of those fancy bread machines. Do you see my problem? I have however finally found a recipe to help me enjoy and not hate the process of making it. A little help from one of my resident sous chefs never hurt anyone either.

Did I say NO YEAST!!! When I find a recipe that says that I hear music and want to just dance!

These no yeast biscuits are my absolute favorite.  I use them as an accompaniment with meals or as the top of a deconstructed potpie.  Butter or no butter I am pleased with their flavor.
I present you the best biscuit!
Pay no attention to the bland colors of the meal that day.  The real focus is the biscuit.  The rest of the meal was simple items it was the biscuit that was made with love!

Recipe credit for the biscuit goes to:

Wordless Wednesday

My oldest daughter and I shared another volunteer experience together this past weekend and then shared a 5k afterwards.  We ran through the 90°weather and got muddy for a great cause.

 I don't always spend time one on one with them and it's nice when it happens.

A few hours of free work allowed us to run the Dirty Girl 5k Mud Run.  I can't wait to see our pictures from our actual experience on the course.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I tried it (a daily series)

Dinner from home!!!  I eat out often which isn't a good thing for more than one reason.  I won't even bring up the health reasons or the financial factor.  How about it just makes me lazy to have to cook my own meals.  I have all the daily deals and kids eat free figured out with a plan everyday.  So going to $1 tacos at the local restaurant is soo much easier than making anything at home.  Not to mention I may drag my feet in hopes of going out and now it's late and what can I cook?  Something fast and to the the point.  Out of my pantry and I don't see anything (even though there's food in there).

After some slight pondering I decided chili. Ahh, meatless because I don't have meat. Let me find a recipe so this pot of stuff will have a chili taste not just look like it because I added the beans.  I will make one I have made before with corn in it. I do like that one. Wait no canned corn. Wait I have a handful of frozen corn that will do.  I measure everything else give or take into the pot. STOP no need to make it meatless.  I have hamburg patties. I cook up two of those and crumble them into the chili. (Kudos to me I'm feeling pretty slick. Like I just beat the system of no food)  BUT wait it gets better.

Add some rice so that I hear less grumbling on the lack of food people have consumed.  Wait I'm feeling better about cooking so I am going to throw in some cornbread muffins.  Enter the lovely Internet on making muffins without milk. (Shhh, don't judge- I call it a survival challenge for my older kids to get creative on making their meals.)

So today's meal was:
Chili with corn and meat (hamburg patties)
Dairy-free Cornbread muffins

Recipe recognition:

Monday, May 18, 2015

I tried it! (a daily series)

In order to keep me on track with new recipes, eating from my pantry and trying new things I will post "the" new food!   It may be breakfast, lunch, dinner a snack or even a drink! Anything goes and the result will make me better in the kitchen!
  Today's meal as early as it is was oatmeal.  We eat a lot of oatmeal here!! We buy it in bulk from Sam's Club and eat it quite often.

 I think it last longer than cereal helps you stay full longer.  You can make it into anything.  The concoctions to oatmeal are numerous!  I also think it is a great frugal tool.  Some recipes are flexible with use of water or milk.  You use less milk in a recipe for multiple servings than a bowl of cereal as it is measured out instead of causally poured into a bowl.
  You can make it as healthy as you want or as sweet and fun as you desire.  Either way it is still good for you as you are in charge of the ingredients you add.  No artificial preservatives, flavors or colors!

Today's feature.....

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle oatmeal from:
Although not all our oatmeal is enjoyed here a majority is!  I appreciate the household tasting them and we save the recipes for easy repeats in the future.  My daughter's have a notebook for keeping their recipes in both for now and when they are on their own.

So many recipes so little time!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Goals are not overrated

I made some goals the other day.  Minimum to me and without a time frame. What really makes a goal?  The object you want to accomplish or getting something completed within a time frame.  I want to read 5 books is any less important if I don't complete that task in a set amount of time?  I personally think not.    I say yeah and pat myself on the back for having finished those 5 books!

Baby steps to accomplish your goals. They don't even have to be named goals if labels make it more intimidating.  We won't even call them tasks, jobs or plans.  Just say I want to do something to do.  Something you don't usually do because it does have to stand apart from your normal day.

My objectives (without a time frame) are: crafts,cooking,reading, working out, eat from my pantry and a bonus challenge to lower my grocery bill.  My strategy in making more than one was if I at least hit one area I still did a good job.

Crafting would be a nice activity for just myself or with my family.  We may make alot of junk but we may make so good items to.  We will learn as we go.
Tonight I tried my hand at DIY shrink dinks!!! I love them and how they came out. Now that I know it can be done there is a lot of room for improvement and design.

Books are read at my house primarily to the young people.  I want to read a grown up book. There was a stop at out local library today and I made the first step and got myself a few books!!  
I have had it for a few hours and not opened it yet but, that's ok!
Cooking is doing great I have consumed instead of wasting the zucchini and yellow squash! Lost 3 cans of items to homemade spaghetti sauce! We even had a new oatmeal for breakfast. (Cranberry apple oatmeal) Cooking from your pantry and recipes is like opening a surprise box! The best part is your winning by not throwing money away. 

 Lastly, I am so thrilled with my workouts. 

 I seemed to have hit an energy high.  Two days straight I have hit the highest distance in my cardio time in a long time. It must be persistence.  Excited as this week I signed up for a Dirty Girl 5k Mud Run on Sunday!! 

What are you objectives near or far? Make some with no limitations they look more appealing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

April 2015 NC Outerbanks visit.  I enjoy the calm of a beach, nature at its best! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

W is for worms

We are exploring worms not so much the letter  "w" but why not use that to my advantage.  We started yesterday with making a worm compound.

 She is excited at the concept but not sure what to expect to in a few days we will go back out and see if there is anything exciting going on and by that I mean (please,please) visible trails.
We practiced writing letter w and discussed all things "w" and we found several other worksheets to emphasize worms. 
Thanks to for this great idea.  She had fun making this.
We also got a little dirty and spelled it together when we created this piece of art with tea granules!
We found a great website.
 She listened intently and was able to answer questions asked at the end of the different sections. I think we will visit it's site a few more times this week and of course at the end of the week we will have to end this lesson by eating worms!

Future science observations: frogs and their life cycle and snails.  We have observed butterflies for several years and will continue that but it will be nice to learn about other critters. Any suggestions are always appreciated!