Monday, May 31, 2021

My Week

 It has been a good week here. Weather wise it has been a bit above average temps for a few weeks until Thursday brought a pretty bad storm along with record breaking cold temperatures for this time of year.  The storm didn't last long thankfully but the winds and the rumbling thunder were a little nerve wrecking.  My rose bush took a beating but thankfully it and everything else seems to be fine now. I love the sunflowers that are continuing to bloom.

I have been enjoying a four day weekend.  I went to the library for the first time since Covid and picked up a couple of books.  I'm trying to simplify the things I own so only want to buy books that are true treasures.  Cleaving from Julie Powell, the author of Julie and Julia is not a great story but I'm half way through now and it is interesting enough I want to see how it ends.  It is about her wanting to learn everything she can about butchering.  I also picked up Milk Street Tuesday Nights Mediterranean.  I have flipped through it and see about 10 recipes I will be trying soon

Everything in the garden is doing well so far.  I pulled up the garlic that was planted in August. I didn't grow as much as I usually do but what came up looks pretty good.

Meals this week: 

Monday-Steak, corn and potato

Tuesday-Thai chicken and veggies with Udon noodles. 

Wednesday- Big Salad

Thursday- Chili (I take every cool front I can get and make a soup or chili)

Friday- Baby back ribs, salad and bread

Saturday- Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage with Pasta and Alfredo Sauce.  The Alfredo Sauce I made was so delish!

For some reason, I didn't remember to take many pictures this week.

How was your week?  Are you cooking anything special for Memorial Day?

Stay Safe!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Chicken Parmesan

Kim at asked for my Chicken Parmesan recipe so I'm adding it here.

I made this a couple of weeks ago and I can't tell you the last time before that. I'm not sure why because it is delicious. It will be going in a more regular rotation.  Especially this winter when I'm craving comfort food. I have this written in my recipe notebook and I'm not sure where the recipe originally came from.

 I usually half this recipe for the big guy and I because this easily could be 4-6 servings.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast split or pounded thin

2 cups all purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons of water

2 cups Panko bread crumbs (or your personal choice)

1 cup olive oil

Red sauce of your choice either jar or homemade

1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1/4 Cup fresh grated Parmesan

Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, Dredge each breast in the flour and tap off excess, then dip in the egg and let excess drip off.  Finally, dredge on both sides in the bread crumbs.

3. Over medium high heat add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides.  About 2 or 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and top each breast with some of the tomato sauce, a few slices of the mozzarella and a tablespoon of the Parmesan. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley.

I serve over pasta noodles but they are not necessary.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Chapter 54

Yesterday I started Chapter 54 of this journey through life. I actually worked on my Birthday which because of my Mother I never do but it was a Tuesday and I took a three day weekend this past week and have another one this week. When I was growing up my Mom made a big deal out of our Birthdays.  Nothing extravigant but we did not have to go to school, we could spend the day doing whatever we wanted to do. I've always continued this tradition.  She always told us that this was our special day. When she called yesterday afternoon she asked what I had been doing all day.  and I told her that I worked she sounded disapointed so I promised her I would never work again on my Birthday. She never makes a big deal out of her own birthday but always has for everyone else.

As each Birthday aproaches I like to think about what the past year was like and what I want the next year to hold.  My 10 personal goals for Chapter 54 are...

1. Make 12 new to me recipes
2. Make 12 desserts (this big guy will love this one)
3. Do 12 random acts of kindness (strangers)
4. Do 12 random acts of kindness (friends)
5. Do 12 random acts of kindness (family)
6. Read 12 books (I used to triple this amount but lately haven't come close)
7. 12 day trips with the big guy
8. Continue to be grateful every single day
9. Continue to stay mindful of each moment
10.Continue to pay attention to the little things in each day

I put these in my journal with space to put a check mark each time I accomplish one and I left enough pages to write what I do.  It is always fun to look back on these and remember the things I did.

Anyone have any Birthday traditions that they still do?

Sunday, May 23, 2021

My Week

 Good Morning!  This past week has been a busy one.  Last Saturday I spent all day cleaning and doing house projects from my very long list.  It felt good to be so productive.  I finally got the big guys Cubbie repainted and hung back up in the tree.

Sunday we spent most of the morning outside working on the yard and gardens. I have a ton of Thai Basil, Genovese Basil and Greek Oregano coming up.  Our very large Rosemary plant made it through the winter and is getting planted in the ground today.  All of my perennial flowers are coming back and looking wonderful.  I can't believe how much they grow each year. I'm keeping the garden simple this year.  We have a number of pepper plants, arugula, lettuce and more herbs.  We have a wonderful farmers market so I will buy our tomatoes and other fruits and veggies there.  Some of the sunflowers are blooming.  In this picture there was actually a yellow finch on one.

Wednesday I had my first haircut in over a year.  I had 5 inches cut off and it felt so good to have someone do my hair.

Friday my doctors surprised me with a wonderful lunch for my birthday.  One of their wives made us an Indian feast.  Everything was delicious, especially the butter chicken and curry rice.  They were quite sneaky in planning the entire thing and getting me there.  One of my gifts was a dozen roses.  They are gorgeous and smell heavenly.

Meals this week were classic favorites, nothing new.

Monday-Skillet Chicken Shawarma and Naan (I really love this)

Tuesday-Beef sausage, veg and potatoes

Wednesday-Spicy chicken, pinto beans and rice

Thursday-Chicken Parm (It has been a VERY long time since I made this and it was so good)

Friday- Eggs and toast ( I was so full from lunch we kept it light)

Saturday- Meat loaf, potatoes and corn ( we found Florida non GMO corn for 25 cents a piece so we bought the limit of 12 )

Today I plan to work outside a little more and do some work inside as well.  I'm grilling ribs and steak for dinner.  I'm not sure what sides yet.  I took tomorrow off from work so it feels good knowing I don't have to deal with a Monday at work.

How is your Spring going?  

Friday, May 14, 2021


I have a HUGE cookbook collection.  This is the first cookbook I bought for myself.  I had to be about 19 or 20 years old.  It talked me through the basics of learning to cook on my own.  I had always 'helped' my Grandmother in the kitchen but being out on your own without someone to watch over you is a learning curve.

This book has the recipe for banana bread that I have used ever since.  I've tried a number of other recipes but for some reason I always go back to this one.  The bread comes out super moist and the banana flavor is just right. I either use walnuts or pecans when I make it.

Do you have an old favorite recipe that you continue to make?

Sunday, May 9, 2021

My Week

 Happy Mothers Day!

My work schedule is 6 am to 2:30 pm and even though it is hard to get up sometimes, it is nice to have the late afternoon and evening off.  I was able to finish a couple more projects this week and yesterday we spent half the day outside planting and cleaning up.  Good thing we did outside projects yesterday because I woke up today to thunder and it is supposed to rain on and off all day.

I ordered the book Open Blind Eyes and it arrived yesterday. This is the story of a local woman who was only nine years old when she was first approached by a perpetrator who was known to her as a teacher and coach.  She goes into detail of the process of being groomed and how the evil of what was happening to her in the dark remained unseen by everyone around her.  She describes how she coped for many years by blocking out the memories only to have them resurface when she was an adult with a family of her own. This happened in the town that I live in and all of the people in the book still live here so this has been a hot topic in the area.  I don't know any of the people involved but as difficult as the book will be to read I think this woman deserves for people to hear her story.

This weeks menu:

Monday- Chicken, peppers and mashed potatoes.  I cooked this in a butter and garlic pan sauce and then let it finish in the oven.  It was so good.

Tuesday-Chili and cream cheese, jalapeno jelly wonton wraps.

Wednesday- Beef nachos, salsa and queso dip.

Thursday- Veggie and cheese omelet, bacon and toast.


Saturday-Stuffed shells and salad.

Well, I'm off to start my day.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Things That Make Me Smile

We have had beautiful Spring weather.  It's been a little cooler than normal which is nice to not go straight from having the furnace on to the air conditioner.  We haven't used either in probably a month which I love.

These beauties are frequenting our bird feeder along with SO many other gorgeous birds.

For Cinco De Mayo I made beef nachos with salsa and Queso dip.  I tried yet another recipe searching for the perfect to me dip.  So far, everything I've made is good but not quite what I'm looking for.  So the search continues.

How is your Spring going?  Anyone have a favorite Queso recipe I could try?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Shawarma-Inspired Skillet Chicken

 This recipe is seriously delicious.  It's probably the best 'new' recipe I've tried in quite a while and it will be in our dinner rotation from now on.

I found the recipe here Havoc In The Kitchen - Shawarma-Inspired Skillet Chicken.  This food blog is amazing and I know I will be trying many of the dishes, especially if they are half as good as this.

My picture doesn't do it justice but I was in such a hurry to try it.  I served it with sauteed onion and broccoli and homemade Naan.  I drizzled the tahini sauce on top and it brought the entire dish together.

Has anyone tried any new recipes lately?