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Are You a Mustard Lover??

August 16th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Some people are into mustards, some aren't. I can tell the older I get, the more I enjoy mustards. Must have something to do with taste buds. I've never been into ketchup, maybe due to all the kids and seeing it used as a food group sometimes!

I'm going to be in mustard heaven since my box of 3 new mustards from Grey Poupon arrived today. Can't wait to start experimenting with them in some of my recipes.

Tonights meal is homemade pot stickers & rice, so mustard probably isn't going to make an appearance til tomorrow. My favorite recipe comes from one of my first kids. Round steak slathered with mustard, then lay in a spear of dill pickle.....roll up and wrap with a strip of bacon. Brown, then simmer for 3 hours. Tastes oh so good!

Since moms kitchen didn't have any mustards, these are a welcome addition!

Our 99 cent Dinner

August 13th, 2007 at 04:42 am

Yes, we did manage to go out to dinner for 99 cents. Sort of. Of course, it meant I had to go inside a casino! Totally out of my comfort zone here....

Took mom & her twin to a tribal casino for a late lunch/early dinner & we all used the 99 cent menu. Totally yummy was the review all round! I had salmon fish & chips and a strawberry shortcake for dessert; had to be the best one I've had .....ever.

After our meal, the twins spent time (and money) playing games while I sat & waited. (should have brought my knitting) A fun day & budget minded at least on my part. Never have been a gambler & today was the first time my mom hasn't actually shoved a ticket at me and told me to Spend It!.

We tried like everything to watch a DVD from the retirement community we are all pondering. Can't get the machine to go. Not sure what the problem is, I'm used to my set up with the DVD in the TV and it's just a one button deal. This one is a bit older & no matter what combo I tried, nothing. Because of moms moves lately, no book could be located either.......and by then, we didn't care if we saw the advertising blurb. We're just going to go & see it for ourselves.

I've been babying my knee, somehow I've tweaked it about a week ago & it has HURT. Tonight is the first night I think I'll be able to sleep without it waking me up. Just in time for a walk around Greenlake this week. Meeting a friend for a visit & a walk & was hoping I didn't have to limp all the way around! Will give it a go tomorrow & take a practice walk!

On a Roll

February 20th, 2007 at 03:18 am

Another email in the IN box today.....sold another book on Amazon.com. Two days in a row, a record of sorts here! With todays holiday, I'll be mailing both of them tomorrow & then just sitting back to see the $$ added to my Paypal account. Pretty easy money. This was one of the original ways I tried when beginning the $20.00 challenge here a year ago.........and it's still plugging away.

RE; putting ME on my 2007 goal list....I walked again this AM for an hour. (in the pouring rain, mind you!) Enjoying the walk and the company; one of the women who answered my Craigslist post for walking partners. It makes a huge difference to me if I've got someone to meet at the trail....otherwise, I could come up with dozens of creative answers as to why NOT walk.

Spent nothing ........used a bit of gas to get to the trailhead...but that was it. Thought I was going to sew, but it was too cold in the sewing room to concentrate. Will try again tomorrow; hoping for a warming trend here again.

Continued the Cooking From Scratch lessons today for the non cooking tenants here. They bought the ingredients & I showed them how to make ranch dressing (a food group for them I think) from scratch. Everyone agreed it was better than the stores. Duh!! We did pancake syrup last week...not sure what next weeks "lesson" is going to be. I always forget how spoiled I've been; to have everything home made all the time. I can't imagine how much money that has saved over the years???

Veggie Deprivation

January 12th, 2007 at 04:00 am

Reading the posts about the veggies is making me realize how few fresh veggies we've had around here since the produce from the garden was finished up. This isn't the greatest for our nutritional status, but it's the way it is. I've got veggies canned or in the freezer & that is just how things are through the winter here. We do add some fresh things in occasionally....but it's a treat when we do.

I'm anxious to get some things planted, but now.....even more so. Onions, zuchinni, asparagus......they all are yummy.....and FREE (almost) if I raise them myself. I do think my absolute fav has to be brussel sprouts, which I didn't get any starts for this past summer. I'm going to be camping out at my local garden supply store this spring, to be sure & get my quota. (not sure I know that number....as we've been able to eat whatever I grow in previous years.)

Heading to the freezer before turning in tonight & taking out a package of cooked butternut squash.......The soup of the day tomorrow will be curried Thai butternut! Has to be one of the yummiest things I've tasted lately.

I'm disappointed we're still iced in, as I had set up a walking partner for tomorrow AM. There is no way I'm driving in this stuff....there are more vehicles in the ditch than on the roads around here! I will just have to wait til next week to meet this woman. The treadmill again!

Off to do my Really Cold Weather prevention plan tonight.......bank the fire in the wood stove....leaving a slow drip of water to keep the pipes from freezing up and opening the under sink cabinet doors; only because my dad taught me that one. Not sure if it really helps or not, but we've not had anything freeze up either. Tonights overnight temp is supposed to be a whopping 16. Yuk!

Dinner Impossible?

January 5th, 2007 at 08:45 pm

It's a new show being advertised on TV lately; not that I'm planning to watch......but it sums up our current menu planning/ cooking/ eating situation here.

The backyard people qualify & are using food stamps these days.......as well as I'm taking them to our local food bank 2X a month too. This yields plenty of food for them however, some pretty odd combinations of items neither of them knows much about.

So, I've begun a new deal of offering to teach them how to turn their items into dinners (or lunch & breakfasts too, for that matter). Started by leaving out a couple of my Taste of Home magazines which they have been enjoying and commenting on. Take their comments and steer them towards their "pantry" they are accumulating and see if we can come up with something similar for them.

Todays meal had to include the fresh peppers they got at the food bank yesterday, so we're using the last of the new years pork roast, a jar of their salsa, one of their onions, and simmering it all to go in soft tacos (tortillas also from the food bank). Have the dried beans soaking, waiting to simmer them up and make re fried beans to go with the meal and I think we're set...... with a couple added fresh items from our fridge.

If you don't know what to do with items, food bank donations are almost worthless to some. I'm not sure if my new dinner game is going to make an impact or not, but I feel better. They might learn something, and worse case is they don't..........but they will be on clean up on the nights I cook for/with them. I can live with that!

Learned they are both crazy about bread pudding, so that will be next on the list to turn the leftover bread & bakery items into a "new" dessert.

Dinner Impossible.........Not around here!

Record Breaking Weather

November 23rd, 2006 at 03:58 am

Living in the Pacific NW, I'm used to rain; but this is getting way past the ridiculous stage now. We've just shattered our own record of the wettest Nov. on record and there are days left in the month.

My yard is so wet I'm beginning to question how septic tanks work when the ground is so saturated. (Having it not work is not a pretty alternative) Hoping by some magic, the system still functions even tho we are all building arks here.

Beyond the rain, life continues here. I got paid for another months private knitting lessons, in addition to taking on an Emergency hemming job so someone could wear new slacks to their family dinner tomorrow. I had assumed my ad wouldn't pull anyone in this week due to the holiday, but it has been the busiest so far. Nice.

I'm up to speed for the dinner tomorrow, as well as the overnight company. Hoping to get to sleep early so I can be up with the chickens (literally) & get the pies in the oven before the cheesecake has to go in.......then the turkey, and on and on. Just need to get the clean linens on all the beds & I'll be good to go.

Sold another book on Amazon........plus received another invite to evaluate a product I had answered a survey about. Love those.

Did get the battery charged on the new Sonic Care toothbrush system & wow, I've never had cleaner teeth. What a deal this is. Even came with a travel case.

Hope everyone that will be observing Thanksgiving has a blessed day indeed!

Adding a Meal + Two

November 21st, 2006 at 06:15 pm

I am usually ready to add more potatoes to the pot, and set out more plates.....round up a couple extra chairs (we don't have dishes OR chairs that all go together...who cares anyway??), but today I'm doing a mini dinner; BEFORE the holiday. A new one on me.

Got a call last night from a friend who will be picking up the Autistic Wonder Child who used to live here, then they will both be coming here for of all things.......haircuts and the Mini Thanksgiving meal.

Fortunately, with a pantry & freezer up to par here, I set out a mini turkey tenderloin roast to thaw....and I've got oodles of pumpkin for a Pre Holiday pie. Can't imagine dealing with life without my well stocked larder here. Makes the odd seem almost normal. Anyone else offering hair cuts with their pies??

Knitting student cancelled today, so I have more time than usual.....love when things just seem to work out! I'm crossing things off the Master TO DO list and have time to spare. Heading to the sewing room for the afternoon while the pie is baking, have an order due next week, 20 small cushions for hand made rocking chairs from a local craftsman.

Back to work here............

Catching Up

November 21st, 2006 at 01:40 am

I've been playing a long game of "Catch Up" here, and I'm not winning! Seems I get more behind each day/week.....

Spent a couple days last week at my moms, getting some BIG things off her list, but not making any headway around here. I'm having a Thanksgiving dinner, plus overnight guests here for the week end, so this week is pretty booked.

Started last night.......during the middle of the night. I couldn't sleep, so I got my tablet & started making lists. Shopping, TO DO, what to cook when sorts of lists. Finally got to sleep around 4AM. (can't wait for lights out here this evening!!)

Did the shopping for the week today, and have a couple of the menu items started already. (gotta love things like frozen salads, etc.......a do-ahead dream)

Sold a book on Amazon yesterday, so got it mailed today. Would love to see this little venture a tad more active. Not going to get rich with this one. But, no expenses on this either.

Did have to spend money today, on a new feeder for the chickens. They had quickly outgrown the chick feeders and needed to graduate. I have no idea where the feeder is from the old house, so this was a stupid expense, replacing something I already have......had??? Should last the rest of my lifetime however. Plus, I now have it set up so I won't need to fill grain containers 2X a day! Nice.

Picked up fabric for a customers order, re lining slacks.......which is such an easy do, but people are willing to really spend on this repair.... Should get this done & be paid the first week in Dec.

Anxious to try my new SonicCare toothbrush system from BzzAgent. Just got it in the mail today & will set it up this evening. Probably needs to charge, now that I think of it......

Also got an invite from a food co, to participate in a survey. I'd requested a sample from the freebies pages here ages ago. There was a list of thank you gifts they will send when I complete the 20 minutes..... Nice!

Timers' ringing, means I'm due back in the kitchen. Hope everyone is up to speed on their Thanksgiving prep....

Adding 2 More for Thanksgiving

November 14th, 2006 at 04:07 am

My "Little Dinner" is getting bigger it seems. We were 5 adults which seemed small compared to previous years, but was just about right for the house I thought.

So much for what I thought. Smile

I learned that my one guy that comes on the week ends, didn't have his usual place to go on Turkey Day as he calls it. So, it would be just he & his mom, in their apt. (she can't cook, they don't really have a functional kitchen either) So, tonight I asked them if they would like to come for dinner then my guy can just stay for a long week end, so his mom still has to do just the 2 trips to my house. With about 5 seconds, she replied....."Sure!" They're bringing the beverages; so one more catagory crossed off.

Next, I get a call from my mom & yes, her twin is coming too. Early in the day to help with dinner & they will bring a salad, fresh veggie & 2 pies. (reminded them there were just 7 of us!!) They then asked if they could stay overnight......so we'll bump the kiddo out of his room, toss him in the living room on the aerobed and have the twins in the bedroom. Too fun. But, now we've got meals to plan for Friday!!! Smile

So, my one little dinner has spread out to a couple days, several meals and we're up to 7 adults. (still haven't got a commitment from the new couple out back in the trailer.....planning in my head for 9, just in case.)

Love the pantry & freezer for holidays....as I've got many of the items I'll need already put away here. I will be spending some for the food, but nothing over the top. All my baking ingredients are already in the pantry, bread has been set aside for the dressing, other people are bringing items.........so I think I'm getting the turkey roast and whipping cream. Not bad!

Located the staple gun & received a free to me battery operated drill..........so I can finish the Re-Do on the Freecycle table event before Thanksgiving. I have free fabric too....the cushions are in great shape, so a little work and the set will be all ready to go. I actually LOVE the table & chairs .......couldn't have found anything new that I like as well. Gotta love it when that happens!

Fortunately, no one I know expects anything but a fun day here; so I'm not compelled to pit myself against Martha. We'll be reasonably cleaned up, the food will be outstanding & plentiful and everyone won't have to worry about a think. We don't stand on ceremony, or which fork to use...or any of that. (although I would love to set a formal table once before I die... Smile )

So, it's looking like a no to low stress day.........plus I'm feeling really good about having others here that wouldn't have somewhere to go otherwise.... I used to think I'd like to go help serve holiday meals at the mission in town or something, then I finally realized I do that......just at home! (on a tiny scale)

Still in Harvest Mode Here

November 12th, 2006 at 06:30 pm

So much for relaxing the entire day ....I just couldn't resist getting a few more pumpkins roasted up and in the freezer.

I did one yesterday and am feeling compelled to get the rest of them cooked up and in the freezer before we get another freeze & I loose them all.

Just chop in hunks, (saved all the insides for the chicks....they love all the gooey stuff) toss in the oven & roast til tender. Scrape off the rind and cool.......(saved the rinds for the chicks too). Put in zip locks, label and toss in the freezer.

So, the ovens chalk full of pumpkin & I haven't even made a dent on the pile at the front porch. At this rate.....perhaps I'll be done at Christmas! Smile
I think all my pumpkin is going to be headed to the soup pot, as we have a new favorite soup here Creamy Pumpkin/Curry Soup. It's a lick-the-bowl sort of event!!

Freecycle Finds & Other Ramblings

October 16th, 2006 at 03:28 pm

My 2 tables I picked up yesterday were terrific. Particularly love the rattan topped sofa table. All oak! And another end table, also oak.......plus the gentleman had found another table by the time I got to his house, so I got 3 gorgeous tables for a bit of a drive. What a savings! I've been furniture shopping with my mom the past few months and can't believe the price tags! This was WAY more my style.

Not even sure where I'm putting these....but they will all find homes either here or at my moms.

Todays freecycle deal is more downspout and gutter material, aiming to get it in my mini van since I don't have a reliable person with a truck around here. With the Navy mans help, we'll get gutters hooked up to the outbuildings and make my 2 rain barrels functional before next garden season.

It's a no spend day here....as is typical.
I'm planning to spend the bulk of the day in the sewing room. I've got clients coming towards the end of the week; for some reason 3 of them all with draperies needing hemmed. Easy jobs, but boy......have they taken up the space in the sewing room. Piles and piles of draperies!

The new little couple in the 4th bedroom is soooo young and soooo in need of almost everything. They make me so grateful for my parents. I can't imagine parents that would just not be there for kids like these. Anyway, they are safe, dry and happy to be here. The last 3 months they have been staying in one of the Seattle areas Tent Cities, so this place looks pretty good to them. Hopefully, they will take advantage of the situation & make some headway towards getting their lives on track. They have 2 interviews and a medical appt set up for today, so it looks like they are moving forward.

Cooking Note: Thanks to others here for continual inspiration to concoct new meals from existing items. We had a delightful Thai Braised Chicken dish last night...using up one of the many cans of coconut milk I have for some reason. Totally yummy. Fun to create and nice to get out of my cooking rut here.