Monday, July 16, 2018

WEIGH IN - 7-16-18



175/166/135

Do you see that middle number? YaYaYa! Finally off that shelf. Now if I can just drop one more before Bob comes home sometime next week (if not this weekend). 

It's been a really long week. I didn't make it to the Gazelle because I was putting in so many steps elsewhere that most nights I went to bed with my legs screaming at me. This week is probably going to be a repeat but I am going to try and pace myself so the legs are not quite as vocal when I go to bed. I really do prefer sleep.

Speaking of.. I turned out the light last night at 10 p.m. Well actually, at 9 because I was dozing off during my recording of the British Baking Competition. As soon as I turned out the light, I was awake so I turned the TV back on and finished watching the show. There are some amazing talents on there. The challenges they provide are very hard, and get increasingly difficult with each week. Though I found it hard to believe last night that so many of them fought with pastry. Pastry is not difficult to make yet only one member managed to meet the technical challenge - barely. 

I miss my days of baking competitions at county fairs. For several years I participated in up to five different fairs per season. I earned decent prize money which paid for my trips to the Ozark Creative Writers conference. I've looked over the local fair book and may enter next year. We'll see.

Later this week, I'm going to be talking about a big box store, their route to invasion of privacy and my attempt to not step foot in their store again. We'll see how that will work out. 

In the mean time, I encourage you to do what you love and Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Quick Chicken Fried Steak


While there are some things you can buy less expensively at other box stores, these Ribeye Steaks from $Tree aren't bad.

They are very thin sliced. Some are more gristly than others but otherwise they'd be great for a steak and cheese sub. Think of them like a breakfast steak.

The gristle is found in all ribeye steaks. The thicker the cut, the less pronounced you'll deal with. And face it, if you're eating a nice thick steak, unless the leaders are really bad, you don't notice them.

One day last week a writer friend and I were discussing Chicken Fried Steak - the best you can find in Texas. Afterwards I couldn't stop thinking about it so I went scrounging the freezer. I thought I had a couple of cube steaks. No such luck, but I did find two of these and thought 'why not'?

I pounded them out to break up those leaders and cooked them up as I would have any other cut I usually use for chicken fried steak. They fried up beautifully!  And sooo very tender. Pounding them out gave me 4 steaks that I used for dinner that day, breakfast the next day followed by two additional dinners.

You'll notice I get some really good, quick meals for Bob and I from $Tree. I've heard that not all of their stores have the coolers so check yours out next time you're grocery shopping.

Whatever you choose to eat,
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, July 9, 2018

WEIGH IN 7-9-18


175/167/135

Are you seeing a pattern?

My goal is to finally get on the gazelle this week. The pain factor last week from Monday and Tuesday made doing much of anything until late week hard to do. I'm going for 2 days this week and see how I do.

As to food, I'm working on clearing out the freezer. I've been pulling a couple of things out every two days. Things that would normally be one meal, I've been making into two most of the time. Drinking plenty of water and decaf/ unsweet tea. I drink one cup of fluffy in the morning, tree until about 1 then switch to water the rest of the day. I usually have a coke in there somewhere between the tea and the water. I pour it into a freezer mug to make my own frozen coke then top it with a mini coke and work on it for a couple of days, freezing/ thawing a bit/ refreezing, etc. 

I'm also dealing with a bit of a sore throat from sinus stuff. Just enough that I know the glands are irritated on the left side. I picked up a package of Chloraseptic lozenges last week and use one of those if the irritation really starts to bug me.

For this week, 2 days on the gazelle, keep food in check and try not to overdo the steps again so I'm not dealing with pain afterwards. The cool thing about the gazelle is I'll get steps in without impact so that might help on multiple fronts.

Whatever you have planned for the week...
Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Freezer Stock-up


I use my foodsaver a lot. After solid research, I knew I didn't need a fancy one to start with but that I did want the Foodsaver brand. The one shown above is what I use.

About every six weeks I buy protein in bulk, bring it home and package into portions using the Foodsaver. This prevents freezer burn and lets me keep meat much longer than if I just tossed it in a zippy bag or froze in original packaging. Incidently, you should NEVER freeze meet in the original package. Meat department packaging is not meant for long-term storage.

One thing I use a lot of is chicken in many forms. This time around I'm showing you breasts and tenders. 


A #5 bag will net you approximately this in Breasts:

Solid breast pieces

Stragglers.

I have the breasts on the cutting board how they were packaged - one pkg of 3 and three packages of 2. The larger package will be great for Bob and I in the crock pot. I can also use the 2-packs for either both of us or just me, cooking two meals at once. This comes in handy during NanoWrimo.

Stragglers make the best chicken bites, chicken and rice, sweet n sour chicken.. those dishes where you're going to chop them up anyway.

Next, I had a #4 bag of Tenders (failed to take a picture) but here's what I came up with:


These I packaged in 4 pieces each. That gives Bob and I two tenders each for a meal. I can also oven-fry a 4-pack for myself and have them to nibble on over the course of a couple of days.

Do you purchase in bulk? Do you have meals in mind? I'd love to hear what you do!
Enjoy the journey!


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

FLYLADY - Home Economics

Instead of the usual Flylady routine post this week I thought I'd delve a bit into how I came to be a Flylady. Actually, I was a 'flylady' long before the term existed.

My (step) mom grew up during the depression. She taught me how to cook and to clean. To be self-sufficient if necessary and keep a well-stocked pantry for lean times. Almost fifty years later, I'm still putting those practices to use on a daily basis.

Along with what mom taught me, I learned a lot in school. Home Economics class was mandatory in Middle School (6-8th grades) and an elective in High School. Home Ec was an easy class for me and I enjoyed every moment in class. I see so many young people who have no clue how to run a home efficiently or cook a basic meal (that doesn't require a microwave or drive-thru). But I'm also seeing a resurgence in the willingness to learn how things were done 'back then'.

Thanks to Home Ec, I not only built upon the skills mom taught me but I learned other things, such as basic architecture. We were taught how to sketch out a floor plan. I used that skill when we bought this house. I drew out the floor plan, measured for cabinets, determined where outlets needed to be set when Bob did the rewiring, etc. I also used the same principles when we built my office. My contractor was amazed. Of course, he and his crew also feasted on the labors of my kitchen skills every day for a noon meal.

I have a lot more research to do on this 1950s housewife in regards to cleaning, but I thought I'd share this video I found on YouTube:


Whether you are a 1950s housewife or modern day, I hope you'll Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, July 2, 2018

WEIGH IN 7-2-18

175/167/135

My weight post is beginning to sound like a broken record but at least I'm not gaining. Now that Bob is gone, I'm determined to get an exercise routine in. I HAVE to if the numbers are going to budge.

This first week, I'm going to focus on two days on the Gazelle. I have enough housework/ yard stuff to give me plenty of movement. 

For food, I'm starting on leftovers in the freezer. Wednesday, for the 4th of July, I won't be going anywhere. I have leftover BBQ ribs in the freezer. I'll make a single potato into potato salad, maybe a couple of deviled eggs and a single serve of Cherry Cheesecake. That last one is important.

Growing up, Mom and I always made a 9x13 cake pan of Mother's Dream Cake. 
Graham Cracker Crust, a mix of Dream Whip and Cream Cheese and topped with Cherry pie filling.
We only made this on 4th of July. 

Since it's just me, I can't justify making even an 8" pie pan of the Dream Cake - which I would do if Bob were home. So I bought a tub of Philidelphia Cheesecake Filling. That stuff keeps a long time so I can portion it out. Thinking of trying some of it frozen for a cool treat. I'll let you know how that works out.

I have a ton to do today so this post is short. Tomorrow is Flylady. I have an idea for a different type of post but still related so I hope you'll come back to see what I come up with.

In the mean time, what are your plans for the 4th? Family stuff? Food?  Let me know.
Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Surf n Turf


For me, the only thing better than all-you-can-eat lobster or crab legs is to combine seafood with a good steak. 

When it comes to portion sizes at a restaurant, they are way more than you need to eat at one sitting. Bob and I like to go out for a good steak and I'm slowly training him that because it's on his plate, doesn't mean he has to eat it all in one sitting. I have always cut my steak in half and packaged one portion up right away then enjoying the other half with my meal. With Bob gone, I can bring mine home to the freezer and enjoy a good steak while he's gone without having to leave home - or eat alone in a restaurant. That doesn't really bother me, I just like to have a conversation if I'm out in public. At home, I can enjoy a movie. 

That's what I did with this meal:


I started with the salad... greens cut from my own little garden. Well, to be clear, this salad bowl came pre-planted from Menards garden center with five different lettuce, a parsley and chives - for under $6! All I had to add was a diced tomato and a drizzle of blue cheese dressing.



Next, I thawed out a package of medium shrimp. I buy the $6 bag from Walmart then package them in portions using my Foodsaver. This allows me to thaw out a small amount for me when Bob is gone without disturbing the temperature of the rest of a large bag.


I put the steak in the toaster oven to reheat while I put the shrimp into a skillet with a bit of butter, then added some of the Teriyaki glaze, tossing to get all of that sweet/ tangy flavor on every bit of the shrimp quickly without overheating them. 

A quick, easy dinner for one that could have easily been a leftover for both of us by adding Bob's steak portion and another package of the shrimp. Bob would have passed on the salad, having cottage cheese instead.

How do you handle the large portions from restaurants? Do you have a favorite way of stretching that doggy bag at home?

Whatever you do, Enjoy the Journey!