Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 38 Tuesday (9/30/14)

Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:           Blackberry Margaritas
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

         I never really understood the whole salt rim thing on cocktails. I do like the fact that is it really cold and smooth. I wish I ate blackberries because this one is such an awesome looking drink.
         Remember that blackberries give us 50% of our Vitamin C. So raise your glass and toast to Ree.

Special Event:  My 40th Class Reunion

       It all began on Friday with the second pedicure of my life. I decided to spruce myself up a little and splurge on a pedicure since I am now wearing sandals a lot. I scheduled one at Tranquility (the same place I get my monthly massage). I did find it a good experience. I do have to say that my toes look better than they ever have before.
       Saturday arrived and I began by cleaning most of the house. I had a hair appointment with the fabulous Colleen Addante at 12:00. As usual, she did an amazing job cutting and coloring my hair, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Here I was preparing to get in the car
       Gary called and told me to meet the guys at a bar in Batavia, but I couldn’t do it because I arrived home too late. So, I decided to meet them at Lincoln Inn. The last thing to do before I left was to take the dogs out for a final bathroom run. As I was coming in, I stepped on a nail in the yard (from my old roof). It went right through my sandal into the ball of my foot beneath my toes. We had a little bleeding, and then I cleansed and bandaged it, and chose to ignore it and enjoy my night with old friends.
         The night was wonderful. I saw so many people that I remembered, and touched base with old friends. As usual, Gary, Jim, Jeff, and Bill offered me drinks (which I declined) and made me feel special.
         I am so glad that Gary called and told me “We are going.”  It was a night to remember.

My nametag

My Gorgeous Girls

         Lately, I keep checking on Willow’s hair growth. The hair on her belly from her biopsy is slowly growing back in but finer. The hair behind her ear from the tumor removal is soft and smooth but hardy long at all. Finally, the hair on her leg where they shaved for the IV is nonexistent. I think this is because she licks it. Okay, this is dumb and I just need to GET OVER IT. I sometimes dwell on the dumbest things.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 38 Monday (9/29/14)

Recipe Review

Today’s Recipe and Location:           Vegetable Lasagna
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

         Lasagna is one of my favorite Italian foods. Lasagna dates as far back as the Greeks and Romans, which makes is darn old. The Greeks named it after the words “dish or bowl”, but the Romans figured out the whole layering thing.  I think the reason this is such a great dish is I love the layering of pasta, sauce, and cheese. The cheese is the best part for me because life would be boring without cheese in almost every meal.

Random Reflections - Bucket List

       A lot of people have told me that I should write a book for parents about educating your child in the 21st century.

Bucket List 27
Write a book about school for parents
Host a game party
Purchase a truck
I would like to learn more about fostering animals
Visit the narrowed list of Kentucky towns each for a weekend
Have a B.M.I. of 24.9 or lower
Return to Florida/Alabama and see old friends
Play tennis again
Learn to play bridge
Have an in-ground pool
Finish writing a book on the Scent Family
Save up enough money for a down payment on my Kentucky house
Research every town in Kentucky in hopes of relocating
Work on learning calligraphy and bettering daily penmanship
Begin making my own clothing using a mannequin
Volunteer at an animal rescue
Visit all 50 states
Photography courses
Complete all of Mom’s and my scrapbooks
Go skiing again in Colorado
Meet the Duggar family
Watch every nominee and winner for the Academy Awards to date
Remodel my kitchen
Take piano lessons
Write 2 books for my great-nephews
Travel to Wales
Travel to Scotland
Alaskan cruise

Why Weight?

9/21                  Sunday                   2,206 calories         nothing                 
9/22                  Monday                  1,427 calories         Curves                 
9/23                  Tuesday                 1,560 calories         Curves
9/24                  Wednesday            1,777 calories         nothing
9/25                  Thursday               1,822 calories         nothing
9/26                  Friday                    1,678 calories         nothing
9/27                  Saturday                2,019 calories         nothing

Goal:              68.8 lbs.          (100 lb. loss between 6/1/14 – 6/1/15)
                  +    0.1 lbs.         this week’s loss
                      68.9 lbs. lbs to go

I know I blew this one on the last day. I went to my class reunion and eating a regular dinner of salad w/dressing, chicken, mashed potatoes, and prime rib and then top it off with a full calorie Sprite ruined the week.  But, I’ll take a one tenth of a pound gain for the amount of fun that I had. Oh well, tomorrow we begin again.

Sun.                   9/21                  7,168 steps                  2,710 calories burned
Mon.                  9/22                  7,797 steps                  2,919 calories burned
Tues.                 9/23                  6,834 steps                  2,685 calories burned
Wed.`                9/24                  7,281 steps                  2,727 calories burned
Thurs.               9/25                  6,511 steps                  2,700 calories burned
Fri.                    9/26                  5,886 steps                  2,658 calories burned
Sat.                   9/27                  6,437 steps                  2,717 calories burned

         My steps are in the toilet this week, as are only two days at Curves. I need to step it up this week and get back to my normal five days at Curves and steps a whole lot closer to 10,000.

Wants and Wishes

         I wish my favorite TV shows were on all year. One of the things I have trouble with are the lulls between seasons, and the lack of shows that I truly enjoy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 37 Sunday (9/28/14)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DIANE! Today is my youngest sister's birthday! I hope her day is filled with joy and happiness, which will happen because she will be surrounded by all of her children.

Recipe Review
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwich
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

         This is such a pretty sammy, that I wish I could eat a bite.  I love pesto and in this recipe, Ree makes her own. Going to the website to learn to make it yourself is well worth the effort. What more does a person need than a crusty roll coated in pesto??? 

Trivial Triffles

         The sky was perfectly clear the other day except for this one little cloud. It looked almost lonely in the bright, blue sky. Why was there only one cloud? Did all of the evaporation stay in one little place? It moved slowly across the sky as if lost.
         I was just fascinated by this little cloud, and then it was gone with the wind.

Memory Musings

         One of the fun things we did as kids was to play in the Creek waterfall on the Nun’s property. A bunch of us crossed over 64 and went down Peck Rd. and headed East to the forest preserve. At the back of the preserve, we could get to a creek and from there follow it to the waterfall. I am not sure, but it may be Ferson Creek. At the far south side of the forest preserve was a small waterfall that was fenced off (I am sure it was because of us). We rarely went there, but when we did it was a great day to play in the water. That is, until the Nun’s came down with a big dog to chase us off of the property. I think the property was either for retired Nuns or maybe it was a country retreat for them. All I know, is that they always chased us off of the property. Of course, now I know it was to protect us from drowning, but then they just seemed like party spoilers.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 37 Saturday (9/27/14)

What the Beck?

         This picture is the reason that for the next two weeks I will be including recipes that you will enjoy, but that I will NOT be preparing. My freezer is packed solid and I need two weeks to eat up what I have before I begin again.

         I am currently eating three meals from this freezer. It is challenging because I am out of her breakfasts so I am eating things like BBQ chicken, meatballs, and enchiladas for breakfast. This seems crazy, but I must say that eating meat has made my morning amazing, because it keeps me soooooo full. Protein is the way to go, even if it is a bit unconventional.
Random Reflections        
Yard Art – colorful spikes, owl, dragonfly…

I love this colorful dragonfly spike.
It brings happiness to the garden.

This little yellow owl began in the yellow flowers but
I later exchanged the red for the yellow so they both stood out.

This purple flower is just an outline but it adds dimension

I love this lady bug. Her colors are vibrant and iridescent

         These little spikes are colorful and add a pop of color to the gardens. I have several of each type and have them throughout the entire yard.

Helpful Home Hints

         When was the last time you cleaned underneath your sink? I must admit that it was definitely a while ago for me. Of course, I always check to see if the garbage can overflowed, but I rarely organize all of the cleaners and dishwasher supplies in that dark, deep space. This is another one of those jobs that people don’t do as often as is necessary. Of course, because of this blog, I am so much more observant both in and out of my home. Thanks to all of you, the cabinet under my kitchen sink is clean and neat.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 37 Friday (9/26/14)

Recipe Review       
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Lemon Basil Shrimp Risotto
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 242 calories per serving, if 8 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

You can clearly see the chopped shrimp,
risotto and the dark green basil leaves.

Don't you agree that it would be better
with a lot more shrimp?

         This is one of the most refreshing dinners I have had this summer. I don’t think I have ever had risotto before and I am definitely a convert.
         I only had one pound of shrimp and the recipe called for 1.5 pounds. Next time, I will put in two entire pounds. I love shrimp and since it is lower in calories, it will be a great addition to my menus.
         The lemon and basil add so much to the dish. Of course, you probably noticed that there is a little heavy cream – but it wouldn’t be a Ree masterpiece without it. I just love her recipes. I wish I knew how to actually contact her.


Fabulous “Family and Friends” Food

Gooey Cake

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed ilk
1 (12 oz. jar of caramel topping
1 cup Cool Whip
3 Heath candy bars

         Prepare cake according to directions on back of box. Use a 9 x 13 pan. When cooked, and while still warm, poke holes ½ inch apart with handle of a wooden spoon. Pour sweetened condensed milk into holes. Next, pour on caramel topping. Refrigerate.  Once cool, top with Cool Whip and crushed candy bars.  Refrigerate overnight.
         This one was in my recipe box with no name on it. I love the idea of eating a giant piece of this but I am sure it has boo coo calories so it is best to just read it and dream.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 37 Thursday (9/25/14)

Recipe Review       
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Oven Roasted BBQ Chicken Thighs
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman blog

I figured out that there are 255 calories per thigh.  (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

I had already made baked chicken thighs,
 and then I added this wonderful sauce

         I love dark chicken and turkey meat. I always have thought that they are much more flavorful than the white meat. I was thrilled to make this recipe because I always seem to be using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so this was a treat. The sauce is really good. I would never have thought of mixing BBQ sauce and peach preserves, but I really love the flavors. This is a really nice change from boring old chicken.

Random Reflections - The Glorious Garden 
Happy return daylilies yellow and gold

The yellow daylilies are a great border
to the trellis filled with Mandevillas

These are the yellow version in front of my trellis

The gold version is just beautiful, too.
       Daylilies are a staple in most gardens because they are easy to grow and are quite hardy. I have one section of my yard with the gold version and a separate section with the bright yellow ones.
         I have never had any problem with bugs and daylilies. They seem to be fine no matter what the weather, also.

The tag said:        
 They can grow anywhere in between 1 to 5 feet tall. (Mine are usually around a foot tall.
They spread between 2 to 8 inches.
My daylilies are about five years old and they are quite thick and beautiful. I do mulch around them to help retain moisture to avoid having to water.
My gold daylilies form a border into the trellis area. It looks really nice. The gold flowers are in full sun.
The others are in a flower bed that borders that back of the house. This bed is in light shade.
The best time to print them is in the early fall or early spring.
Plant them about 18 – 24 inches apart. This will allow them to spread and thicken.
You do need to water the plants more until they are established.
In the first and second year, the plants need to be watered more frequently than they will later.

Irksome Ideas and Images

If you have ever spent time with a Middle School age child you have heard an overuse of the word “like.”  When I taught at Wredling, I fell into the “like” trap. I heard it so often during the day that I caught myself using it a lot. This was a really annoying habit that I am glad I have overcome. I mean like, I don’t like, use it often anymore.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 37 Wednesday (9/24/14)

Recipe Review       
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Roasted Beef Tenderloin
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl         Pages: 196 - 198       Copyright:  2009  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 375 calories per serving, if 4 ounce servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

Yes, you read it right. $97.43. OMG

         I went to Blue Goose and purchased the beef tenderloin. My naivety was quite evident when I got home and looked at the receipt. The 3.61 lb. tenderloin cost me $97.43 plus tax. OMG!  I had no clue that it would be that expensive! Ree said that it was really pricey, but it as way more than I expected.

         Saying all of that – this is the best tasting meat I have ever had. The rub she added was outstanding and the meat just melts in your mouth. I gave three servings to my Mom and Ron. My freezer is totally filling up and I am going to need a week off of cooking to catch up on eating all of this great food.

Here is the beginning of the rub - salt, pepper, and sugar
Adding in the olive oil

I cut it into two sections thinking I
was using a smaller pan - unnecessary

Ree said to use a sharp knife and cut off the 
tough fat on the top, but also leave some for flavor. 
I do as I am told (when it comes to Ree)

I had to put in this picture to show off my Grandmother's
meat thermometer - dumb idea - it doesn't even work
Bed, Bath, and Beyond - here I come

The picture is blurry, but look at that scrumptious rub!

What is up with my blurry pictures?
I left the meat rare because I will have to reheat it later.

Gabbin’ About Gratitude

         I am so grateful to live in a country where I feel safe. The world is such a scary place, and I am happy that I get up every morning and never think about my safety. God Bless, American and the Americans that keep us safe.

Memory Musings

         I dropped over at my Mom’s on Sunday and we reminisced about Aunt Mitzie. My memories of her are sketchy, at best. I remember her as a happy, woman. She always wore a dress with sensible shoes. She wore glasses and she scrunched up her nose when she laughed. My main memories of her are from when she was older. She was always laughing and I enjoyed talking with her.
         Mom shared how she had taken care of me when I was a baby and she and Dad were at work. My memory is good, but not THAT good. I am sure my cousin Linda has wonderful memories - we need to talk.
         I am glad that I have positive memories of my time with her. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 37 Tuesday (9/23/14)

Recipe Review       
Today’s Recipe and Location:           Flat Apple Pie
         Found in: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl         Pages: 216 - 217       Copyright:  2009  Harper Collins

I figured out that there are 388 calories per serving, if 8 servings are made. (Please note that the calorie counts vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients that you choose to use.)

***I think that the pie was such a mess that I forgot to take a photo. OOPS!
Check out Rees photos, as they look pretty good.

         I really liked the flavor of this pie. The execution of it was disastrous, however.  The filling went together easily. The crust was made easily, but the sides didn’t all stay up so all of the yummy juices and sugars oozed out all over the baking sheet.
         I did take it to school where it was enjoyed, but my friend, Deb, wondered about the cinnamon. I explained that there wasn’t any because of the brown sugar, but then the problem was that the pie lost a lot of the sugar on the pan.
         Next time, I will make the exact same recipe, including the pie crust, but have a top and bottom in the deep dish pie plate. The rustic look may just not be for me.

My Gorgeous Girls
       There are great rebates out there for both heart worm and flea and tick medicine. I am blessed in that the Sandwich Veterinary Clinic always alerts me when I purchase the medicine. I will be receiving a $10 and $25 rebate for purchasing six months worth of medicine for the girls. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet.

The grass was so deep that I
almost lost the girls

Lying in the grass is safe because of the flea 
and tick meds they are using.