Thursday, May 30, 2019

Listening to My Husband

One thing I don't do well is listen to my husband.  Now, don't tell him I said that or I'll never hear the end of it.  But I do acknowledge this as one of the many very few things about me that probably upsets him.

We were headed out for our first overnight in the COW I was packing a few clothes for the overnight.  Dave said, "Don't forget your camera."

I didn't want to take my camera.  I have taken hundreds of pictures at the spot we were going to go camping at, it was early in the season and there would be nothing to take pictures of.
We pulled into the camping spot and on the partially frozen pond there were hundreds of ducks.  We had never gone to this spot so early and I had no idea that ducks would be here.  I counted to 160 and just stopped because I hadn't even gotten to half of the open water yet.
So I took some lousy pictures with my phone and wished I had listened to my husband.  Again, don't tell him I said that.

3 years ago:  Adventures of Bolty

May 30, 2019  Sunrise 3:38 am  Sunset 12:00 am tomorrow  Temp. H 72/ L 56°F

Friday, May 24, 2019

Egg Salad Stuffed Bacon Cones and the Wrong Birthday Call

O.K. so it wasn't just last Sunday that was tough, it was the whole week.  I guess Monday was alright, I was just stiff and sore from yard work and my fall over the fence.  Tuesday was another story. 

I didn't sleep well Monday night so Tuesday I woke up really tired.  I stumbled down the stairs and let the dogs out, fed them and started my coffee.  Then, I remembered it was the Baby Boy's birthday.  So as my coffee brewed, I called him to wish him a happy day. When he answered the phone he said,
"Oh my gosh, my own mother doesn't remember my birthday."
"I know your birthday, remember, I was there." I said.
"My birthday is the 23." he replied
"I know and today is Thursday, May 23." was my indignant reply.
"Nope, it is Tuesday, May 21."
"I"ll call you in two days." I hastily said and hung up.

I called two days early.  It was going to be a long week.

So I made myself a little treat to get me through.  I love egg salad and I love bacon, so this was the perfect thing for my lunch.  I have cone and cannoli mold so I used those, but you could make your own with aluminum foil.  I made the parts, took them to work in individual containers and stuffed the bacon cones at lunchtime...I did have them for breakfast too, I wanted to take pictures after all!  So, these are good for breakfast, lunch or a little snack.  I think I make bacon cones and stuff them with a cheese for appetizers this summer.

Bacon Cones
6 pieces of bacon, I like to roll them a little flatter and they shape easier that way
6 home made or pre-made cones or tubes

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Wind bacon around molds and place on baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until bacon is crispy.  Let cool slightly and then remove from molds.  Cool completely and fill with your favorite egg salad, chicken salad, or cheese.

This makes any week better.

7 years ago:   A Letter to My Hero

May 24, 2019  Sunrise 3:57am  Sunset 11:40 pm   Temp H 65/ L 49°F

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Poached Garlic Dressing and the Rough Day

I had a really tough day Sunday.

It started out with Mooree face butting me before I fed him. He is always very hungry in the morning so I let them out and feed them right away.  I was reaching down for his bowl and he was looking up to lick me and caught me right under my chin, I have a lovely little bruise and tender spot from his hard head.

I got my coffee and started some meal prep.  I made french toast muffins from Kyndra Holley's cookbook, Craveable Keto, cooked some sausage links and breakfast was prepped for the week.  Then I made some salmon patties and cleaned the kitchen while they baked.  After they came out of the oven and cooled, I stuck them in the freezer. I checked my list and saw that I forgot the artichokes, so I grabbed them out of the fridge, prepped them and popped them into some water to cook.  I went upstairs and got dressed (yes, I cook in my pajamas because Dave was still sleeping when I started), went back to the kitchen and the artichokes were not finished so I decided to go outside and weed a little while they finished.

About an hour and a half later Dave came outside and asked me what I had burned this morning.  
"I didn't burn anything this morning, why?" I asked.
"Something smells like you burned it." he said just as I remembered the artichokes and ran inside.  
Of course, the pan was black, the artichokes burned and hard and the house had started to smell. We grabbed the pan and took it outside to cool and to get the smoke out of the house.  Dave asked if I was serving smoked artichoke dip with dinner.  Very funny.

Then later that morning, we were emptying the greenhouse.  I have several little garden statues for the flower beds and I had two in my hands as I tried to step over the gate that separates the deck from the grass.  We keep the gate shut to keep the dogs off the grass and encourage them to use the dog yard.  Well, I made about three successful trips over the fence but this trip was not so successful.  I ended up on the ground, the statues went flying but I was able to get up on my own (I did have to lay there a little bit though).  I do have some lovely bruises on my legs to show for it (this morning Dave just laughed when he saw them and walked out of the room).

The final straw was when I was making dinner.  I had planned some grilled kabobs and grilled vegetables with this delicious poached garlic dressing.  I poached the garlic the night before and let it cool so all I had to do was give it a quick blend and it would be ready for the beef and veggies.  

Most of the prep was mixing some ground burger with spices and making meatballs to grill on some skewers.  I grabbed my mother-in-laws green bowl (I always laugh to myself and say "I hope this is a good try") put the burger in it and I needed some vinegar.  I reached into the spice cabinet and instead of taking everything in front of it out, I just tried to lift it over everything.  I bumped a glass jar of balsamic vinegar that was sitting at the front and it fell out of the cupboard and hit my green bowl and broke it.  Glass was everywhere...on the counter, on the floor, in the meat.  I saw what I had done and burst into tears.  I had broken June's green bowl because I was trying to cut a corner.  Dave was really kind, and calm. He took the broken bowl and the ruined contents to the garage to throw them away and helped me clean up the mess.  We ended up eating chili from the freezer with hot dogs and brats.  The grilled veggies would wait for another day.

So tonight, barring any accidents, we are going to grill veggies with the poached garlic dressing.  This is so delicious and good for anything, chicken, shrimp, pork, veggies...  I've heard that eating garlic is good for clearing up bruises, good thing because I am one giant walking bruise.

Poached Garlic Dressing
1/2 cup garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled of paper
1/2 cup avocado oil, or oil of choice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. brown sugar substitute, or honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

In a small saucepan, over medium high heat bring garlic and oil to a simmer, reduce to low and let simmer for 15 minutes until garlic is golden brown.  Remove from heat and let cool (I usually do this the night before I am going to use it, while I cook dinner).
Transfer garlic and oil to a blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Use as a dressing, marinade, or basting sauce.

1 year ago:    Seed Crackers
3 years ago:  Ruining the Surprise and Drunken Watermelon Drink of the Week
5 years ago:  Bacon Burgers and the Grilling Season
7 years ago:  Spinach Salad with Warm Mushroom and Bacon Dressing

May 22, 2019  Sunrise 4:04 am  Sunset 11:33 pm  Temp. H 72/ L 52˚F

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Keto Margarita - the drink of Summer

I (try to) limit my adult beverages to one a week, usually a glass of champagne on Friday after work, or a mimosa (hold the orange juice) Sunday morning if we go to brunch.  But last Sunday, I made keto margaritas and they will be my go to for the summer.  They are tart, delicious, full of lime (I love lime - almost as much as I love commas and ( ) marks!) and so refreshing.

Now, some people like a salted rim or they like a blended drink.  I like mine salt free and on the rocks.  You can make yours however you want to, this is how I make mine.

I made them for our Cinco de Mayo dinner and have been craving them ever since.  I hope I can wait until Friday to have another one.  Oh wait, my brother in law is coming home for the summer, I might have to have one tonight to celebrate!

Keto Margarita

3-4 oz. fresh lime juice, from 3 limes
2 oz. silver tequila
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 Tbsp. powdered Swerve
6 drops stevia glycerite, more or less to taste
crushed ice

Fill drink shaker with ice, add lime juice, tequila, orange extract, Swerve and stevia glycerite.  Shake until very cold.  Pour over crushed ice. 

Alternatively, pour all drink ingredients into blender with ice and blend.

1 year ago:    Triple Chocolate Cookies and Work Travel
3 years ago:  What a Difference a Week Makes
5 years ago:  Learning to Like Dark Chocolate and Swirled Fruit Bark
7 years ago:  Too Much Dinner and Meatloaf for Two

May 9, 2019  Sunrise  4:49 am  Sunset 10:48 pm  Temp. H61/ L 47°F

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef and margaritas - the perfect
Cinco de Mayo combination!

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo at home with Margaritas, tacos, and loaded nachos.  And since it was Sunday and we worked on chores around the house all day (I shampooed carpets), I needed an easy dinner.

I am in full Spring Cleaning mode right now.  Walls are getting washed, curtains washed, windows washed, carpets shampooed...and after HOURS of cleaning I turn around and find a pile of dog hair my dogs shed, it is so discouraging.  But Franklin (my iRobot) still does his afternoon sweep up and I try to ignore the rest.  Sunday was a very productive day and by 5:00 I was tired but still had to get some dinner together.

I love planned left-overs.  Dishes like lasagna where I make two at the same time, because that is so easy, and stick one in the freezer for later. Or pulled pork, because it makes so much that after dinner I portion it and have a couple more meals ready to throw together because the meat just needs to be heated.  And this Mexican Shredded Beef, it makes a ton and I can put containers in the freezer so dinner can be quick and easy.
Loaded nachos - grain free chips

Now I'm being honest here and I made this beef a couple of weeks ago in the crock pot, we had dinner, and I put several meal sized containers in the freezer for later.  It is one of those containers I pulled out and used for dinner on Sunday.  And I know I have dinner for a couple more nights when I come home from work too tired to cook or when I can finally get outside and work in my garden and won't have time to cook, so much healthier (and cheaper) than running across the street to our favorite Mexican restaurant.

So, I hope you had a happy Cinco de Mayo, a productive weekend, and are looking at a fun week.  We are still Spring cleaning, but we are also eating really well.
Dave's Sunshine Salad: greens covered with Mexican Shredded Beef
tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and surrounded by tortilla chips.

Shredded Mexican Beef

5 lb. fresh brisket
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 small onion, sliced in half moons
1/2 cup beef bone broth
1 cup tomato sauce
3 pkgs. taco seasoning, or I use this homemade blend X3 plus salt

Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray or oil the inside lightly, add the bone broth, sliced peppers and onion.  Cut the brisket, across the grain, in 2-3 inch strips and place in slow cooker.  Mix tomato sauce with taco seasoning and pour over brisket.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.  Remove beef from slow cooker, shred discarding any large areas of fat.  Return beef to slow cooker and stir to mix in the cooking liquid.  Serve.

1 year ago:    30 Days Dairy Free and the First Fail
3 years ago:  Low Propane in the COW and Chicken Marsala
5 years ago:  Strawberry Mousse
7 years ago:  Hiving the Bees and Bee Cupcakes

May 7, 2019  Sunrise 4:56 am  Sunset 10:41 pm  Temp: H 63/ L 28˚F