Category Archives: Food Related

December 28

Prompt: Today I Choose to

When I was getting the layout for today’s prompt, I noticed I’d missed creating one for tomorrow.  So after finishing today’s, I grabbed the one for last Monday, the 22nd, removed the prompt and my responses, moved the slider to the 29th and saved it as the Dec 29 layout. Glad I didn’t wait until tomorrow – would have put my day off kilter.


Laundry is already working – one load in the dryer, one in the wash, towels waiting in the bedroom and sheets still on the bed.  Hopefully will be done before lunch.

Yesterday when I worked on planning Brede in Scrivener, I got a total of 12 (out of 20) Chapters identified, wrote a synopsis for 22 scenes and identified 22 more scenes, identified one new Character, and know of at least one more – a goblin’s wife. My commitment doesn’t even start until Jan 1.  I’m hoping I’ll have a synopsis for all scenes by then and most characters and places “fleshed” out.

I worked in the craft room yesterday, found the parts to an unfinished Christmas card and put them all in a bag to finish later. I gathered the rest of that Hunky Dory kit (Christmas Cuties) and returned it to its package, and got the various scraps into either the cardstock or patterned paper files, wound a length of baker’s twine and put the label back on it.  Need to find all the stuff for the new Fresh Start class from Simple Scrapper that starts on the first. Managed to find the two Martha Stewart binders I got for tracking my scrapbooking and card making efforts while cleaning in the craft room yesterday.

Sundays I visit my father after lunch. I’ll see him twice this week since DH and I will see him on Thursday  – my birthday when he makes my cake (Devils Food cake with 7-minute icing.) I make his (same type) in late May for his birthday.

While getting ready for Christmas dinner before my father arrived, I grabbed the extraneous “stuff” in the main bath and put it in a box which I put in the craft room.  Now I can’t move around easily in the craft room, so the box has to be emptied and the “stuff” dealt with. (There’s other impediments on the floor as well, but that’s the largest one.)

Already got the flatware out of the dishwasher, just need to get the dishes out.

Lunch today: Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese and Bacon (from the Christmas turkey) sandwiches – yummmmmmmmm.

I’ve taken a nap the last two days. Unfortunately that kills at least 2 hours of the day. Have to get out of the habit before it’s set. Fortunately, going to visit my father after lunch means it’s less likely that I’ll nap when I get back.

December 26

Prompt: I Am Grateful for


Starting at the bottom of the list:

  • #6 – Our Health.  My DH and I are healthy. I’m a Type II Diabetic but my numbers and, hence my sugars, are steadily coming down. I have some aches and pains that will be alleviated by more exercise and a moderation of my eating – sure to occur when the left-overs are gone. We both are on Cholesterol medication which has lowered our levels to healthy levels.
  • # 5 – I’m glad that I don’t live in a castle.  No matter how romantic the notion is, rock walls are not the warmest things. That’s why they had massive wall hangings on most walls.  Castles are drafty and the floors are cold and hard.  Stairs tend to be well worn and can cause trips and falls. Plus, if the rise is high enough to limit the number of steps to the next floor, they are so high that some people would have a very difficult time ascending and descending.  If the rise is a comfortable height, then the stairs go on “forever” and you’re out of breath before you reach the top. Castles weren’t built with indoor plumbing – they had garderobes – open shafts in a “discreet” corner where one could perch and “let ‘er rip” so-to-speak. I imagine the stench could be quite potent.  I’m also glad I don’t live on a farm.  The amount of cleaning and cooking that I did for Christmas would be a daily occurrence for a fair sized working farm. That would also be true for the castle as well.
  • #4 – Both my kids were at my son’s house and all of my grandchildren as well.  They called shortly after we’d opened our presents and they’d opened theirs. It was great to hear from all of them. My son and daughter also call at other times of the year (and not for money.) My daughter and I talk most days when she’s driving home after her graveyard shift. And my son will email and both are also on Facebook as am I so we have contact frequently during the year.
  • #3 – We have two cats and two dogs.  They provide lots of loving, entertainment and aggravation which keeps us young.
  • #2 – One of our three excursions this year was a week-long stay at a timeshare in Massachusetts. For more than 3 years, probably closer to 5, I’ve kept an article from Woman’s World magazine that featured the Berkshires of Massachusetts in my file cabinet under travel. We finally made the timeshare trade for this year. We had a great time and eventually I’ll get the trip put in a scrapbook. We were busy almost every day and I did all the driving.
  • #1 – My father drove down from his house (about 20 miles away) to join us for Christmas Dinner. He brought the wine (1.5 L – a VERY tall bottle,) a Riesling imported from Germany.  It was a very good wine, eminently drinkable. As I published on yesterday’s blog, our main dish was bacon-wrapped turkey.  Below are two pictures of our bird before I put it in the oven and the picture on the recipe of a finished bird.  We sat down to eat at 2:15. We enjoyed great conversation and all the food on the menu. The turkey hadn’t picked up the bacon flavor but the gravy had. No one wanted dessert immediately after. Around 4 we sent my father home with a slice of the pecan pie and it was 7 or later, while we were watching Modern Problems, when DH and I had our pieces.  All-in-all it was a very good day. (And when I went to bed around 9:30, all the dishes were washed, most had been put away, and the kitchen was clean.)



Dec 25

Prompt: I Would Like to Remember


I started out with a list that mainly related to getting Christmas dinner on the table at 2 this afternoon. Then looking at it, I decided it wasn’t really what I Would Like to Remember.

Yesterday I made pecan rolls, pecan pie and sausage cheese-balls. Then I covered them and stored them in the refrigerator (the pecan rolls) or the garage (pecan pie & sausage cheese balls.) Although there’s some intense cooking today, it will be spread out. While the bird is resting I’ll be able to heat the rolls and make the Brussels sprouts recipe.

Here’s the dinner menu:

  • To Drink
    • a Riesling wine that my father is bringing
    • water
  • Appetizers –
    • Sausage Cheese-Balls, warmed,
    • Crackers and smoked salmon,
    • Crackers and herbed goat cheese.
  • Main Dish and sides
    • Bacon wrapped turkey
    • Wild Rice Dressing
    • Bacon Mashed potatoes (especially for my DH)
    • Brussels Sprouts with Salt-cured ham
    • Mashed candied sweet potato with marshmallow topping (for me and my father if he wants.)
    • Hot rolls with watermelon-rind pickles.
    • Cranberry Sauce (jellied (not whole berry), from a can)
  • Dessert (If anyone still wants some) – Pecan Pie

Where are the pecan rolls, you ask?  They’re for breakfast this morning. It’s a tradition I started at least 27 years ago, maybe closer to 33. My parents insisted that I eat breakfast before we opened any of the presents (except what I found in my stocking at some ungodly early hour.) I continued that with my kids. I don’t know when I made the breakfast special by making the pecan rolls. This year I made them up and cooked them.  I used to mix up the dough and make the rolls, but I’d refrigerate them in the pan overnight.  When I cooked them the next morning they were over-proofed (rose to high – found out THIS year that yeast breads have a tendency to rise too much at higher elevations. We live at 6,500 ft. [Talk about your “DUH” moment!]) I had wondered why I had such problems. We’ll heat them up in the microwave and have them this morning.

John and I don’t really exchange gifts at Christmas.  It’s hard enough coming up with ideas for the kids to give us, much less for each other. We decided during our clean up yesterday that we need some really good lamps in the living room and a vacuum cleaner with a LOT of suction. So that’s going to be our house gift this year and we’re not going to Walmart, KMart or Target for them. Too often we find that either they aren’t well constructed or that someone took parts out of the box and so the item isn’t complete. (Last year our mutual gift was a plush electric blanket for our king sized bed. We’re really enjoying it this winter.)

Merry Christmas to all my friends in cyberspace.




New Mexico doesn’t have a well-known pie.  At least I’m not aware of it and I’ve lived here for more than 50 years. When I searched for New Mexico Pie I was reminded of a town called Pie Town.  It was named that for a bakery that was there built for making dried apple pies. Also in my search I found that one Albuquerque business, New Mexico Pie Company, makes a Caramel Apple Green Chile Pie which sounds positively weird to me.

On Thanksgiving, if I’m having it at my house, I’ll have at least one pecan pie.  My father’s family lived in Virginia and pecan pies were a favorite.  My mother, raised in Maryland, liked mince-meat pies.  My husband, from Illinois, likes pecan pies but also likes pumpkin pies.  My absolute favorite pie is lemon meringue but that’s just not a fall-winter pie (unless, I suppose, you live in Florida, the Texas coast, or Southern California where they grow a lot of citrus.) So that makes pecan my favorite for the winter months.  I don’t have a specific recipe that I always use so the Karo syrup may be light or dark depending on where I found the recipe to use that year and the sugar will vary between white and brown.

If you talk about fruit pies, cherry is my favorite. But I have a problem with cherries or anything cherry flavored – it can trigger binge eating. So I seldom have cherry pie – maybe a piece at a restaurant when I won’t be able to grab a lot of extra food afterwards.  Apple is a nice fruit pie. But you have to have some really sharp cheddar cheese to go with it. And it’s preferable if the apple pie is warm.

Now, it’s almost 8 am and I WANT PIE!


30 Days of Lists – Day 22

Prompt: Meal Planning for this week. This was a relatively easy prompt for me.  Every Friday or Saturday, depending on when we’ll shop, I plan what we’ll eat using the basic plan.  Then, when we get to the store, I’ll choose some of the go-alongs like the vegetables and maybe salad. I also decide on what fruit I’ll be eating in the morning.  This week I chose watermelon (they had some of the baby watermelons,) fresh pineapple rings, and my usual bananas.  I also added some seedless red grapes to have as desserts instead of cookies.


Hey Wait A Minute – Just How Dumb Do You Think I Am?

Have you seen this ad?

Is your “extra virgin” oil even a “virgin” at all?
Shocking findings of new study—see below.
Fresh Pressed Olive Oil But here’s the good news—now there are exquisitely flavorful olive oils available in America independently certified to be 100% pure extra virgin. Even better news—as a reader of, you are entitled to receive a full-size sample bottle free, of “the world’s greatest olive oil”1—straight from the olive harvest, at the peak of flavor, freshness, and nutritional quality.
1. Source: My Healing Kitchen, September, 2013

by Dr. Joe W. Frazer III, MD
Specialist in geriatric medicine; consultant to the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club”

This Dr. Frazer III, MD, is offering a free bottle, out of a stock of 600, to the first 600 people who sign up for the bottle a month at $39 each. This is supposed to be the freshest, best olive oil in the world but I have a few questions.
1) I’ve been seeing this ad in various on-line food or health subscriptions for over a year so does that mean that he can’t even entice 600 people to spring for the free bottle? Aw, com’on – I know there are at least 600 gullible folks out there who would have gone for in a month. So, by my calculations, the 600 bottles should have been gone about 11 months ago.
2) About those bottles every month – if they are the standard 2 cups of oil, I’d be bathing in the stuff by now. I can’t see me using 2 cups of olive oil in one month. In fact, I don’t see very many people, except maybe those of Greek or Italian heritage, using that much and how many of those families are there? Enough to keep him in business?
3) What about supply? Suppose only 200 of those first 600 subscribe and he gets only 200 more each month. After the first month he has to supply 800 bottles (if he keeps running the ads), then the third month its going to be 1,000 bottles. He’s going to be sending this freshly pressed olive oil ALL YEAR LONG. If I’m not mistaken, oil trees bloom and set fruit once a year. Even in year-round temperate climates at most you’ll get only two crops in one year. AND he’s buying from only those small family-owned olive farms who used to sell only locally. Those small family-owned farms can only produce so much. So, where’s the rest of his supply?

Somehow I don’t believe he can honestly deliver what he promises? Do you?

What do you do when you want “something” but don’t know what?


I hate that feeling, that nebulous, nagging feeling that SOMETHING is missing in my life right now and I’ve got to find/fix whatever is missing.

So I start searching.

How about some Fritos?  Consumed 160 extra calories. Didn’t satisfy me.

How about some Chocolate? Consumed 116 calories. Didn’t work either.

How about some Ritz crackers with peanut butter? Consumed them, but too much trouble to figure out the calories. Still want SOMETHING.

Graham crackers with Smart Balance?  See Ritz crackers; ditto. Still wanting.

Thirsty?  At least it’s no calories. Nope!

Fruit? No, or don’t have any in house that I want.

I’m beginning to think the problem is BOREDOM (or a lack of stimulation.)  And we all know that FOOD is not the answer to boredom, particularly not JUNK FOOD (not that fruit or water is junk food but the other stuff was.)

We eat our lunch and dinner in the living room while watching tv or dvds. I’ve suggested to my DH that we eat our meals at the table and got shot down for that suggestion. (We tried it before and quit.)  I don’t want to eat at the table by myself. So we’ll still eat those meals in the living room. Please note that when we have company, Christmas mainly, we eat at the dining room table.

If I’m not eating, I tend to multi-task while we’re sitting on the couch watching tv or dvd’s (which is from 11 – 1 and  5 – 9 pm every day and I’m expected, at least from dinner until my bedtime at 9, to sit with him) so I read a book/magazine or read/play games on my Kindle which is okay for a while but then I start WANTING SOMETHING (i.e. get BORED.)

I’m sense a pattern here.

I need to occupy my mind and my hands whenever I’m watching TV – especially the cold, wintry kind of days or when I’m not feeling particularly well and I just want to vegetate.

Knitting is a possibility, but not likely in the summer. Besides that, my hands don’t like to hold the needles very long. [But I think I could knit an inch every two or three days and finish that sweater by the end of November.]

I could do Zentangle. I’ve got a lot of patterns saved that I need to learn (i.e. do once in my small sketch book so I can take it instead of the big 3-ring binder) plus I want to “tangle” while on trips so I should draw a batch of strings on the forms so they’ll be ready when I need them.

Most importantly, especially in the afternoon, I need HAVE to get up and leave the couch! (And NOT to get MORE to EAT.)


So here it is – My Get-Up-And-Do list


Work on a Greeting Card (I’ve only got materials and instructions for more than 100 not including Christmas cards.)

Weed, water, snip, prune

Take pictures (and improve my photography skills)

Walk (burn those calories, don’t consume them.)

Organize my Digital Scrap Supplies (or my physical ones)

Work on a Digital Scrapbook page

Go through, organize, my physical photos

Start on the heritage albums

Work on the TOPS album

Declutter any room (number them then toss a die, make a spinner then spin it, start at one end of the house and move to the next room in order [when do I declutter the living room if I’m avoiding the tv?])

Order the foot for my Bernina so I can start sewing again (and add clutter to an already majorly cluttered room and closet.)

Order anything I’ve been putting off (except maybe more scrapbooking supplies or the Alienware computer I really want.)


What do you do when you WANT SOMETHING but don’t know what?





To burn or not to burn, that is the question.

There are some spices I like – cinnamon, cloves, allspice, a little bit of ginger. And there are the spices I don’t like – chili (red or green, fresh or dried), paprika, horseradish (or any radish for that matter.) And I’m looked at very strangely when I admit that to my friends and neighbors. I’ve lived in New Mexico almost all my life, especially my childhood years, where we even have a state question “red or green?”

I don’t eat chili because I fear the “outcome” tomorrow or the next day; I don’t eat it because I don’t like the burn in my mouth. When I’ve mistakenly eaten some I haven’t had the revenge or second burn so it appears my digestive system can handle it.

I’ve read about some of the hot chilis of other areas like Southeast Asia (including India, China and Vietnam, Thailand etc.) There’s a particularly hot chili in India that will bring tears to the most hardened mouth. How or why anyone in their right mind would willingly subject themselves to something that kills the taste buds on their tongue and can actually scar their mouth is something I don’t understand. I want to taste my food.

Here in the desert southwest part of the reason for using chili was to mask the taste of rotting meat. Curing meat was somewhat hit or miss and if you put enough chili on it, it didn’t taste so bad and apparently didn’t make you sick either. So maybe it killed off the organisms causing the decay or somehow neutralized the components. I’d give up meat in that case.

I’d rather taste my food and enjoy it than have the food try to cook me with its chemical fire.


Hurry! Only available to the first 240 to subscribe!!!!

I subscribe to a meal planning site (name withheld to protect someone.)  It’s all about healthy meal planning for your family. Last year the site started sending out emails about this great olive oil source guaranteed to be fresh. I looked at it and didn’t want to subscribe to get a bottle of olive oil every month. I got the email again this morning and I got to thinking.

Looking at the logic of this I see some inconsistencies or, at the very least, illogical thinking/planning.

1. How can they keep advertising for over a year that only the first 240 people can get in on this?  Does that mean that they haven’t reached their maximum of 240? I doubt it.

2. Since this person only buys from small private farms, how can he keep supplying “240 bottles” times how many offers on a monthly basis?  Don’t olive trees act like other trees and only produce fruit once a year? Are the farms expanding? How? Land is expensive and hard  to find to grow olive trees which have to mature (how many years before the first crop? How many years until the tree produces  enough to be worth harvesting and pressing each year (5 olives wouldn’t be enough; is 100?, 1,000?) What about the subscribed customers? I’m sure he gets 240 new customers each month and say only 60 re-up each month. That still adds up to a LOT of bottles. (240 the first month + 240 (the second month) + 60 (who renew for each month) for a 12 month period of time is 3,600.  That’s 3,600 bottles for the first year and by the end of two years it’s at least 7,200 bottles.  So how can he do this? I’m sure there aren’t enough small olive tree farms to sustain that kind of growing demand over the years.

3. The “Offer” also talks about how most of the Olive oils on our shelves are thinned (extended) with GMO Soy oil. I agree that GMO anything is probably not good for us. After all, modifying tomatoes to stand the cold with codfish genes is probably not a good idea – what if  you’re allergic to certain proteins in the Codfish genes that are part of what makes it survive the cold of the north Atlantic? And what  happens when you eat a tomato that has been modified to withstand cold snaps with the codfish genes? What will the doctor test you  for? Will he even think to try the codfish?  Codfish genes being used in tomatoes may or may not actually have happened, yet, but we do  know that other crops have been modified to sterilize insects that feed on specific plants, soy being one of them. What does that do to the human who consumes the plant? It doesn’t appear to sterilize humans. But what if it’s a factor in the increase of children being born in the  Autism spectrum? Was our genetic sperm and/or ova affected? We don’t know and I’m not sure anyone is sufficiently interested in  finding out; certainly not the big agricultural industry giants.

So, I ask you, If you see this ad for the special olive oil, are you going to subscribe to it?  What do you think?