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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Organized in a Busy Life

Even if you don’t have children life can be very busy. Years ago most of us lived closer to work in smaller communities buying our groceries at “Grocery Stores” along with a full garden. Some had chickens and other farm animals.

Today we commute with our blue-tooth, coffee commuter cup, fast food breakfast, and GPS for directions. Way to many distractions if you live where we live…close to Houston. 

Some time ago I blogged about making a grocery list from your weekly menu, including what you need for lunch, breakfast, snacks, and deserts.

Here is what I do. I make my list then specify what store I buy this and that at. I use three stores. I have a list for each store. Since we are away from our home from 7:15am to 6:00pm I try to do my grocery shopping one weekend morning. Although lately we have altered that routine by doing the majority of the grocery shopping after work on Friday, after a relaxing dinner out on the way.

Why spend any time shopping for clothes or odds and ends at, let’s say, Walmart when you can shop online for all you need, other than groceries, and pick up the items at their customer service table on the way home from work. I also order my books online from the library and pick them up or drop them off on the way home.  The Dollar General is on my route home so I stop there if I need to.

You see what I am getting at? Decide what you need BEFORE the weekend and spend a few minutes getting things on your way home. DON’T go out of your way. PLAN PLAN PLAN. This way you have a relaxed weekend. 

Because we take our lunches to work I do extra planning. I make up a large bowl of fruit salad, maybe some macaroni salad, and anything I can quickly put in a container in the morning. I also make muffins for breakfast or a quick AM break at work. This weekend I am going to start making a batch of popcorn and take that to work for snack or have that after dinner while watching a movie. Most of the time, during the week, we get things together before we go to bed so we can have a relaxed breakfast and coffee in the morning. We get up at 5:30am because we don’t want a rushed morning. I don’t eat breakfast on the way or at work.

Anyway this is my opinion. It has been working for us. Hopefully soon we can just retire and raise those chickens, farm animals, and garden again. Sip our glass of wine on our porch before bedtime. Going back to basics is still our goal. Heck, it may be at the age of 65, but who cares.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Years ago before I knew about healthy eating we used to go to Costco and buy that large can of Nacho cheese. Or even worse the block of yellow cheese on the grocery store shelf. OMG how could I have done that.
"If you cant make or buy the ingredients in any food you buy, DON'T BUY IT"

A long time ago I posted a pic of my homemade Nachos.

Since it is so hot outside we decided to make Nachos with what we had in the house.

No Meat Nachos 2 servings

I made a cheese sauce:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter, add 2 tablespoons flour. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add 1 cups milk. When heated it will be thick. Add enough milk to make a medium thick sauce.
Add 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, or any yellow cheese you might have.
Cook on medium heat until all the cheese is melted.

Put a thin layer of tortilla chips on a plate, put some cheese sauce over them and add as many layers as you like. Top with sliced olives, salsa, and sour cream. You could add avocados if you like.

Here is a previous picture of Beef Nachos I made earlier.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blueberry, Banana, Pecan Muffins


1 C white flour
1 C wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 C brown sugar
2 tablespoons oats
Mix thoroughly

1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
3/4 C milk (more it the mix is to thick)
1 beaten egg
1 banana  (Put banana in a bowl. Use a fork to squish it up)
1 C fresh blueberries
1/4 crushed pecans (toast ahead if you like)

Spoon into muffin pan. Cook at 400 degrees for 22 minutes.

If you wanted to sweeten this up a bit combine: powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mixture should be thick. Drizzle it over the muffins.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gyro Time

We love our Gyros. I use lamb only, no beef.

1-3 nights before make the Tzatziki Sauce.

Grate 1/3 English cucumber (less seeds), 1-2 cloves of grated garlic, 1/2 C Greek yogurt, squeeze of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dill, and salt and pepper to taste. If it is to thick when you use it you can thin it out with milk.

Saute onions in olive and some butter until light brown. Add grilled or cooked lamb (lamb and beef if you prefer).

Warm pita bread or good flour tortilla.
Add: meat and onions, lettuce, tomato, Tzatziki Sauce, and Feta Cheese.
 Eat it like a burrito. Pull the bottom up and close the sides. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Three Day Weekend

Thank you Governor Abbot for the extra day off. I took this opportunity to complete all my chores I normally do on Saturday. This made Saturday, Fourth of July, an a actual day off. Time to watch Wimbledon Tennis matches and BBQ some burger/corn/squash.
It was a hot one today. With the air conditioning going our TinCan stayed about 79 most of the day.
Tomorrow I will make a fruit salad, tuna salad (for sandwiches), and chicken pasta salad for next weeks lunches. This time of the year hubby is to hot to eat anything heavy for lunch. Fruit and veggies with some pasta salad is good enough for him along with LOTS of water.

Dinner was a burger cooked on the BBQ with a slice of tomato, bacon, and guacamole slathered on both insides of the bun rather than mayo.  Along with the burger we had corn on the cob (very sweet), and grilled yellow squash.
Dessert was strawberries with home made whipped cream.

 Later, with my wine, I did Wine Aerobics.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14 Recipes

As usual, I make our lunch side dishes on the weekend. 


Red Potato Salad

There aren't specific amounts of ingredients for this recipe I just boiled 8 large red potatoes (keeping two for hash browns) and keeping the skins on, add cut up dill pickles, dill, salt, pepper, and mayo. I top this with sliced hard boiled eggs.

Chicken/Pasta/Bean Salad

The same with this recipe. No real amounts just add what you like.
Mine includs: Can of chicken in water drained, 2 Cups cooked pasta ( whatever you have around), 1/2 can olives sliced (I buy the big can and slice them myself), salt, pepper, can of drained garbanzo beans, 1 teaspoon sugar, enough Italian Dressing to coat pasta ( I use Paul Newman's dressing because he does not use high fructose sugar), and a couple tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 NOTE: I COOKED THE PASTA AND TWO EGGS IN THE SAME  POT.  Put the eggs in at the beginning and add the pasta when the water starts boiling. They will be done at the same time. The eggs are for the potato salad.

Anti-Pasta Salad

Hubby loves this for lunch. It's easy. I cut uncured slices salami into pieces, add black olives, several Peperoncinis with a splash of it's liquid, a pinch of sun dried tomatoes, and a couple tablespoons of Italian Dressing.

 Meanwhile, the ribs are marinating. Lots of ancho chili powder and grill seasonings. Three sections will give us 2 dinners and 2 lunches.

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

Yes, that is hubby's fingers. He is in charge of tasting. This is strictly what hubby loves. It's a dish from his past in the mid west. Equal parts of sugar, white vinegar, and water. Add thinly sliced English Cucumbers, thinly sliced sweet onions, and salt and pepper to taste. This time I used three cucumbers. It won't last long.

Later on this evening after hubby grills the Ribs I will make Coffee Cake adding crushed macadamia nuts. 
Because our Tin Can gets hot this time of the year hubby will put our portable oven outside on the table to cook the Coffee Cake.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tamale Pie

This recipe is in memory of my Nana. We had Thanksgiving Dinner at her house most of the time. She would cook a giant turkey in a roster oven she put on top of the wash machine in the laundry room. After that dinner came a lot of turkey type dinners. One being Tamale Pie.
Each time I make this dish I think of my Nana.

Tamale Pie 4 servings

Saute 1/4 diced onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil for a couple minutes. Add 1/2 bell pepper and one minced garlic clove. Cook for a couple more minutes.
Add a small can of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 C of kernel corn (I use Trader Joe's roasted frozen kernel corn), diced cooked turkey (as much as you like), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 can of whole olives. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook or 15 minutes until flavors combine.

In small pot add 1 cup water, 3/4 cup corn meal, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Cook and stir until thick. Add 1 tablespoon butter.

Divide cornmeal. Add half to the meat mixture and combine.
Spray an 8x8 cooking dish with vegetable spray (I use olive oil spray) and add meat mixture.
Top with the remaining cornmeal and spread it over the top in a crust type layer.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes with foil on top. Take foil off and cook for 10 more minutes.

Sorry I keep forgetting to take pics. I think you get the gist.