Showing posts from November, 2011

Green Beans ... MY Way

Anyone who has read this blog for a little time KNOWS that I'm not a huge fan of veggies.

I know.

BUT on Thanksgiving, my lovely sister-in-law made some green beans that were sitting on the counter to be reheated and I snagged one to try because they looked good.

Strange behavior, I know.

And man, oh man they were good! Sue told me how she makes them and here's how I made them:

1 can of french cut green beans ... she used fresh, but I only had canned
garlic, Hubbys special minced stuff
a sprinkle of dried onion flakes
a dash of red pepper flakes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in frying pan. Add all ingredients and saute til beans are tender.

There you have it. Easy. Quick. Amazing.

Menu Plan Monday - So Good To Be Home

After being away from the castle for 6 days, I'm glad to be home again.

Princess flies out again in the morning back to the midwest to see some friends in from overseas on leave. It's kind of cool as it's a few people that she trained with in Arizona ... Should have made life easier for her and changed her ticket to just fly straight to where she's going instead of Florida then back up ... oh well.

So of course, I'm SO very motivated to get back in the kitchen and cook, cook, COOK. Plus getting ready for the holidays and the BIG EVENT (no, that link is not for Christmas!) ... apprehensive? Anxiety? Excitement. All of those emotions!

I'm still trying to avoid any major grocery shops, trying to clear stuff out and bring in new, fresh stuff that is more health-minded and less processed.

So here's what we have planned for the week ...

Sunday - ummm, hmmm. Left over Giordanos pizza that we took on the plane with us from Chicago. Seriously ... yummy.

Monday - Rau…

Being Thankful

The long holiday weekend is coming to an end and I am sitting here, being thankful.

Thankful for many things. And not so thankful for others.

But the key is to remember those things that I do give thanks for.

Thankful that we were able to feed a houseful of teen boys this morning even though we've been gone for 6 days.

Thankful for my friends who teamed up and worked out a schedule (without me knowing) to play with the cats, check the mail and garden and such.

Thankful for my Hubby who made our trip completely possible with as little fuss as possible.

Thankful for the love his family shows ME.

Thankful that I have a job to look forward to tomorrow (and a paycheck is waiting).

Thankful that I have clothes to wear this week without necessarily HAVING to do laundry today if I choose not to.

See. There are plenty of things to be thankful for, things that you just take for granted. Because it's so easy to say "woe is me" and feel sorry and discontentment.  Trust me, there…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hoping everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving with food to grace your table, and family and friends to share with.

Close Your Eyes and Just DO IT

Heh. Yeah. I went for it.

Regardless of the WTF factor, I'm gonna do this.


Shaving Cream

Warm water and towels.

30 minutes of my valuable, precious time.

Yeah. I did it.

Can't be any worse than the last manicure/pedicure I had.

The outcome? Not so bad.

Shaving cream was the Schick Hydro stuff and I probably was not generous enough with it.

I measured 1 cup of listerine and 1 cup of warm water and mixed in a medium size bowl.

Then used two washcloths.

Sat and read magazines for 30 minutes.

Gave gentle scrub then rinsed well in tub. Dried and then applied coconut oil. Put on socks and still pretty hours later.

I will do it again next Sunday as I still have lots of listerine/water mix going on. But here's what I'll do different:

Use lots and lots of shaving cream. Toss the washcloths in the microwave to warm them up after I wring them out. My feet got pretty chilly sitting there.

Did it 'cure' the cracked heels?

No. It didn't. I don't think …

Potato Soup - Crockpot Style

Apparently, this is compatible to Outback's potato soup, but I wouldn't know because I haven't been to an Outback in years, seriously, like 8, maybe even 10??

But with a blog named Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour, you have to trust the girl, nod your head, and say Amen Sister =D.

But all kidding aside ... it's fast approaching December, the most magical time of the year and well, them damn Target employees were wearing Santa Hats on November 19th ... so I felt the need to bookmark the recipe and make it as soon as December rolled around.

December 1st, to be exact. Yes, that would be Thursday coming up. No, no, NOT Thanksgiving, but the following Thursday. Geesh.

The original recipe is here. This is how I'm planning to do mine ...

1 large bag of frozen, shredded hash browns. I will have to hide as Hubby will automatically assume that is breakfast food.
2 cartons (32 oz each) of chicken stock (pantry, Costco buy)
1 can cream o' chicken soup (real deal, campbel…

Cobb Salad

This is Hubby's favorite salad that he will almost be guaranteed to order if we meet for lunch during the week for about the price of oh ... say, $8.99 plus tax and tip (and the ice tea)  ... so I need to make it more often at home for a fraction of the price!

It's pretty easy to do too, just a little bit of chopping and lining up and you are D. O. N. E.

Head of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Cooked chicken, turkey or ham, chopped
bacon bits
cheddar cheese, shredded
olives, chopped (for Hubby's)
Additional items that you like (avocado, onion, etc., just chop)

Lay lettuce out in the bottom of a shallow, smaller dish. Then simply make a row down the middle with the meat, then cheese on one side and eggs on the other. Then bacon bits on one side and olives on the other side.

Serve with either ranch or honey mustard dressing and be happy!

Linking up to Frugal Fridays and GCC and wishing we were going to have leftover turkey to use in this!

Ranchy Chicken in the Crockpot

I wanted to type Raunchy Chicken but figured not too many people would find it funny UNLESS you knew me and my friend Cat ... Cat always has a hard time putting the right word in and most likely would have said raunchy ... especially if there had been a glass of wine or two involved.

Any ways.

The original recipe is modified from the Real Mom Kitchen  ... (which, thanks to Pinterest, I've discovered!) and since I had chicken on hand, figured why not? Bonus for me: I had EVERYTHING on hand ...

So, I give to you, my readers, fans, followers, stalkers, what have you:

Raunchy Chicken

6 normal size b/s chicken breast (freezer)
1 packet of dry ranch dressing seasoning mix (Aldi's for i think 49 cents?)
1 can of cream o' chicken soup (the real deal, Campbell, picked up for ... 50 cents with coupon)

Toss all in crockpot, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Yeah, that's it! Of course, if you are thinking clearly, you will toss the soup in the pot, then the ranch dressing, give i…

Modifying a Smoothie

Well, I say modifying it but it could also be relayed as making it better?

I have a few of those Yoplait smoothie things in the freezer from when I picked them up for $1 a bag ... they are good and all but really, not as healthy as I'd like to think. They were to be for the kids, but for whatever reason, they didn't dig into them as much as I thought (perhaps its the fact that it calls for 1 cup of milk??)

So in my efforts to use what we have on hand this week (week 2 and not doing so very bad) I made a smoothie for my breakfast this morning (no bagels OR sausage patties left for my favorite breakfast sandwiches) ...

1/2 cup of 2% milk
3 tbs non fat instant powder milk
1/2 cup water
1 bag of Yoplait smoothie
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 tbs ground flax seed

Put all in blender and let it rip til smooth. (used the Cuisinart because I gave the bullet to Sonny Boy for his apt).

Pretty tasty. I think next time though I will do the oatmeal and flax seed FIRST in the blender to make i…

Menu Plan Monday - Using It Up

We will be heading out next week for a visit with the family ... so excited about that (and a little apprehensive as Sonny Boy is flying out of Orlando and I have to drive back to the airport to pick him up on Tuesday evening) ... so I need to stay focused and use up what we have in the fridge and such ...

Sunday - Kashi frozen pizzas (got them for $4 a piece) and small garden salad on side. Wanted to make some ciabatta bread to go too but that seems a little excessive.

Monday - chicken and broccoli (using the philly cream cheese stuff) with pasta

Tuesday - chef salad

Wednesday - normally our night out but I think we will be staying in ... if so, I'd like to suggest stirfry or something (3 weeks now?)

Thursday - Going to have to be another salad IF there is salad stuff left over still. If not, I'll do the corn/black beans/chicken salad stuff (quesidillas??)

Friday - hoping to toss a chicken in the crockpot and maybe some mashed potatoes to go along with it?

Saturday - Ahhh....I'…

A Casserole

Its a once in a blue moon type of thing for me to say that I made a casserole.

But today, I did. But it's not for us to eat at the house.

It's for Hubby to take with him to the office tomorrow. He has a new employee who JUST moved here from the other coast, and he thinks the guy is flat broke and living in his car til his wife comes and a few paychecks roll in.

That makes me sad. Very very sad. But there is hope in that Hubby must be coming around and be a little more sensitive =D which is a joke, yet not really.

Anyways. When we made dinner Saturday night, he insisted that we double the meat for the grill and made an extra side dish.

To take to work "as leftovers" and to tell the gang that it's too much food for us at home. Hmmm. That's pretty nice honey.

This morning, we were talking about the status of chicken in the freezers and if I wanted to make some more stuff.

Hmmm...How about a casserole type thingy? He just looked at me, well, because, well, read t…

Veteran's Day

It's November 11th, and I pay homage to all our Vets who have served our country and kept us safe.

Every year, Pompano Beach High SchoolJROTC have led a very moving and special Veteran's Day Ceremony, which they call Fallen Heroes. Because PBHS does not have class on Friday's they have the ceremony the Thursday of that week (this year, it's on the 10th).

They honor local vets, and those who have fallen. They've presented a flag in honor of a fallen soldier to a family member.

They also do a retiring of a flag which is very emotional for me.

I just want to give, yet again, a hats off and a job well done to LTC Johnson and 1SG McGruder ... 

for the excellent job that they do with the kids who opt to take JROTC.

Each year, the ceremony and attendance grows larger and the number of flags grow too as a flag is place for each fallen soldier.

Pictures along with rank and name and place of birth are placed on each one of these flags. Then the cadets set each flag in rows …

Finally, Printing Options!

I'm fortunate in that one of the attorney's in my office has asked if I'd like to do a little side work for him at home.

Sure! It's the Holidays approaching, Sonny Boy is in school, extra rent being paid for him, plus his ordinary living expenses (trust me, he's NOT living high on the hog by any means!), real estate taxes coming due and so on.

So I am getting about $400.00 extra a month at the moment doing searches and reports for him.

Of course, it's a LOT of printing so I'm thinking I should look into a new printer.  He's offered to buy me a new printer, which I just sort of looked at him like, "Huh? Why would you do that??" Really, that's too generous and I will not allow that. Sorry, my friend.

Then I started to notice these "XL" ink cartridges first. You know, the ones that say "Up to 3 X More Pages"?

I've priced them and they are a little over twice the regular price. So really, besides the fact that it's …

When You Receive Bad Service

What do you do?

Recently, I 'ahem' caved in and did a walk in for a pedicure and manicure. Heck, it was $30 and my feet have been killing me with the cracks and callouses from wearing sandals (its south Florida, we wear them 11 1/2 months a year).

I've not been to this particular place in YEARS (which now, maybe I remember why!) but it wasn't busy for a Saturday morning so I waited the 15 minutes.

Ummm...the fact that it wasn't BUSY on a Saturday morning should have alerted me.

3 employees working.

Me in the pedicure chair.

Water is HOT and I jerk my feet out. He (pedicure man) says it's ok, and goes to work on clipping the nails (ummm, what, no soak? Bummer). Then SHE (manicure lady) comes over and starts clipping my fingernails. Again (ummmm, what, no soak?).

Now they are both clipping the cuticles. Ow! Ow! OW!! I'm bleeding here folks. Seriously.

Pat pat pat. There there, all better.

I try to settle in to the massaging chair. Difficult to relax.

Light …

Trying To Do Good

I ran into my neighbor at the grocery store a few weekends ago. I haven't seen or talked to her in several weeks and had been meaning to call her and hassle her about the fact that surely, at the age of 70, she wasn't going back to work since I've noticed her car gone every morning by 7:30am. (She lives next door to me and my one kitchen window looks over her carport.)

I should have known something was up as soon as we made eye contact.

First off, her dog passed. Which is sad. Thor was such a good dog, old, but still. Good Dog. I thought that was the bad news.

Poor Joan. Her eyes were just wide and empty.

Remember, this is my neighbor who just had her kidney removed in June. 70 years old. We garden side by side over the fence. Every year for the past 11 years.

She's now undergoing radiation 5 days a week and chemo once a week.

For lung cancer.

This, after she quit smoking AND drinking 10 years ago for throat cancer. Which she did radiation and surgery then and beat i…

Menu Plan Monday - Using What I Have

It's Monday, again and at last.

We had a busy weekend around here with the weather being a little cooler and the breeze blowing a little stronger. Hubby cleaned the exterior of the house and screens and I mopped the whole inside of house AND planted my garden, AT LAST. See, here in South Florida, late October signals gardening season ... and with the little cool front that came through, it gave me and my neighbor the motivation to go shop for plants! We did that Sunday morning and by 2pm our gardens were set up and ready to go. I still have to plant the lettuce seeds in the starter boxes but that's ok. *My neighbor, who is like my close to home Mom, is currently undergoing radiation and chemo so this is, hopefully, good therapy for her. She's trying so hard to be strong and independent that it breaks my heart {sob}*.

So back to the Plan ... nothing too exciting going on this week, except it's 2 more weeks til we head out for the holiday. I'd like to stick with a re…

Reviewing the Monthly Bills

Isn't it amazing how many bills are really generated a month for household expenses?

First off, we do have cable, satellite radio, internet, landline, cell phones, exterminators (it's south Florida, folks), pool service and lawn service and the list goes on. And I know, all these items right there do NOT need to be part of the household budget, but here, they are.

Some bills stay the same, like the exterminator, pool and lawn guy.

Others fluctuate, like the electric. Which, thankfully, is finally $270 for the month (after peaking out at $450 a few months ago), and the land line, which really, should stay the same, but once in a while someone (ahem) calls their mommy on that instead of the cellphone on a Saturday morning (which by the way, the cell is FREE long distance AND FREE time, especially on a Saturday morning).

The cable bill SHOULD be the same each month too. Except when you change your service, like we just did.

AND that is when you need to scrutinize it. Very. Very…

Dry Cleaning - an at home alternative

I work in a law firm. Granted, it's small, we are very laid back and I can get away with casual attire. No, not shorts and tank tops, but I can wear jeans, nice tshirts and clean sneakers (notice the key words on those last two items? Very fine line here folks).

However, there are also times where I need to be a wee bit more professional, which is generally when I grab one of my thrift store finds ... because heck, if it's not something I'm wearing weekly, I'm not about to pay full price (I'd prefer that be the way of everything, honestly!).

With the thrift store stuff, and the nicer, more professional clothing, a lot of times, it's says "dry clean only". I'll be perfectly honest. I've WASHED these things in the washer and then line dried. Ummm....not always with great success, and sometimes, EPIC failure. But regardless, I at least tried.

So when I saw Fake It Frugal do a post on the at home stuff you can buy, I figured, what the heck. I'…