Saturday, December 11, 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Just not feeling it

 I am taking a break from blogging.  I may or may not come back.  I'm just not feeling it this time around.  I should have probably stayed away and not started a new blog.  Its an effort to read blogs and an effort to think of something to write.  

I'm not allowing any comments on this blog.  I set it that only members of this blog (me) could comment.  

Right now I'm going to regroup, rethink and see what I'm going to do next if anything.

Be well and take care.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Don't ask me to cook the eggs

 In my previous two blogs ago, "A Corgi in Southern California" some of you (not many) may remember where I had a disaster cooking eggs for boiled eggs.  At the time my son was working a valet job and my hubby was working another job and I was home alone (with Koda our previous corgi) in charge of cooking eggs and potatoes for a potato salad our son would put together for our next door neighbors who had people over to watch football, their team being the Green Bay Packers.

I was in charge of cooking the potatoes and the eggs so son could make the potato salad when he finished work and get the meat prepared for smoking.  I prepared the potatoes for cooking and put them and the eggs on the stove, but then I got engrossed in a book the Winter Garden and I totally forgot the potatoes and eggs cooking.  Really, it was a good book.  When I realized I had things on the stove, all the water had cooked out from both the eggs and the potatoes.  The potatoes were salvageable, the eggs weren't.  Thankfully we had more eggs at home to cook and the second time around I kept track of them better and they were cooked and useable.

So you would think I would have learned my lesson right? 

Wrong.  About two weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon I put some eggs on to boil for hard boiled eggs.  My breakfasts most days of the week are 1 hard boiled egg and a package of instant oatmeal.  Side note.  Winslow loves hard boiled eggs (they are safe for dogs).  He has Egg Friday and Egg Sunday when he gets one.  He inhales them (chopped up) in less than 10 seconds.  

Anyway, I put the eggs on for cooking and I sit down by the desktop computer.  Hubby is finishing up practice for the worship service at church and then getting a shower before he has to leave.

A little later I hear a popping sound.  I kind of look but don't think too much of it.  A few minutes later I hear another popping sound.  Winslow has been sleeping by me and with each popping sound he kind of does a little bark.  After the second one I get up to go back to the bedroom where hubby is to see if he heard something.  He's about done getting ready, just tying his shoes.  I mention the popping noise.  He confirms he heard it.  And then I say "MY EGGS!!!" and go running to the kitchen, expecting to see a fire.

Thankfully!!! the water had just cooked out of the eggs once again.  No fire but ruined eggs.  Peeled one to see if I could use them but you could taste the burnt smell so all of them went down the garbage disposal.  

After the pot cooled down, I put more eggs on to cook.  BUT this time I set the timer for 30 minutes so I would remember them.

And subsequently have done the same every time I have cooked eggs since.  May be a slow learner, but found a fix that hopefully I'll continue to use :)

So if you have me over to help cook, please don't ask me to cook the eggs.  It won't be pretty with how they might turn out :)

(Any recent cooking disasters your way?)

Friday, July 30, 2021

And this is why I keep on working :)

This was dinner tonight.  Salmon, Brussel sprouts on the BBQ grill, and a veggie medley of green beans/carrots/potato also cooked on the grill.  All veggies were cooked in aluminum foil pouches.  

Everything was delicious! Super delicious! Pretty much healthy except hubby used some honey in the Brussel sprout marinade which had the highest calorie content of anything else we ate.

Perhaps the wine was a bit high in calories, but hey, its Friday! Got to enjoy the start of the weekend!

I mentioned this before (I think) on this blog or my other blog but now that hubby is retired he is in charge of coming up with what is cooked on Friday nights for dinner. I meal plan the other nights of the week.  All his entrees are delicious and I've enjoyed them all.

Since hubby is retired and I'm still working, he has taken on the responsibility of cleaning the house (LOVE IT).  I mentioned before I do a little cleaning each day (Monday kitchen, Tuesday bathrooms, Wednesdays sheets changed, Friday vacuuming); chores that are designed to be about 20-30 minutes.  I never have a completely clean house but then never a completely dirty house.  Hubby adopted my method of cleaning with a few variations that still has the house cleaned weekly, albeit not on the same day.  I'm not cleaning so I'm perfectly happy with it.  When we both were working and he had a long commute, I always did all the house cleaning so its not like I'm taking super advantage of him.  He still has plenty of time to do the things he wants to do.

I mentioned this before way back on my other blog but he is a shopper and I am not.  He likes to peruse each aisle.  I want out of the store as quickly as possible.  When he first retired and I was working, we used to do grocery shopping together on Saturday mornings.  But then I got the BRILLANT idea to have him do the grocery shopping himself on Fridays.  I give him the list of what we need for meal planning ahead, etc. and he adds what he wants for his Friday meal, etc.  

It is working out great! I rarely step into a grocery store these days. The disadvantage is he spends just a bit more than I would on certain things and he impulsively buys some other things (chips, junk food and the like) but for the most part he sticks to the list.  

I could retire, but really, why do I want to? Someone cleaning my house and going shopping for me.  I couldn't be happier with the arrangement! 

What is your favorite part of grocery shopping? 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Tale of Two Cakes

The wee one's birthday was back in February.  He likes Sonic the Hedgehog a lot and wanted a Sonic cake for his birthday.  As luck would have it, our two main grocery stores we shop at, Fry's and Wal-Mart, did not have Sonic cakes available to be made.  Avengers, yes.  Mickey and Minnie Mouse, yes.   Paw Patrol, yes.  And so on.  But no Sonic.  Because I spoil him so much and because he really wanted a Sonic cake, I found a person who makes cakes at her home and asked her if she could do a Sonic cake.  She sent me a picture of what she made (below).  I showed the picture to son and daughter in law and they loved the cake.  So I call the lady to order it, not really thinking about how much it would cost.  She told me $125.  I tried not to gasp too much and I ordered it.  (Side note, my wedding cake back in 1980 cost $125).   I had to put a deposit down on the cake (I can see why lol).  We picked it up from her house and it looked just as adorable as the picture.  This is not his cake as his name is not Devin and he turned 5.  Marble flavor is my daughter in law's favorite so that's what we got for this cake.  Oh my gosh, the cake was sooooo delicious.  Better than any cake I've ever tasted.  So moist, so flavorful.  Yum!  Usually I don't eat cake because I'm always watching my weight, but I took a bite of this one from my hubby's plate and I'm like "cut me a piece!"  Everyone agreed it was the best cake they had ever had.  The wee one loved it.  The lady who made it said it would serve 15-18 people.  It was only family for his party so it was more than enough for all there.  

So then his sister's birthday is this month, July.  She turned 16 years old and was having a pretty big party.  Because I try to be fair between the two of them I told my daughter in law we would get the cake for her party.  She wanted this one.  I guess the character with the yellow hair is Naruto .  She is really into anime.  I didn't even bother checking with the grocery stores if they could make the cake and the lady who made the Sonic cake was not available as she was recovering from surgery.  So I went online and found an edible cake topper with this picture.  I could order it and then put it on a cake of whatever size I wanted.  For example, I got a fourth of a sheet cake so we ordered the cake topper for that size.  

I knew absolutely nothing about these edible cake toppers but hubby figured we could get it on the cake.  So we ordered it online from Alabama and tracked shipment, having paid extra to get it there in time for her birthday.  I really didn't know what to expect, but it basically came looking just like above, flat like a piece of paper.  I found out later there are edible ink cartridges and I think these are printed on rice paper.  

Her cake was also marble and had a blue border on the bottom and around the top.  Otherwise, it was white icing with this topper going on top of the icing.  We learned our lesson if we do this again not to have a border around the top because my hubby had to cut a little of the cake topping to make it fit on the cake.  It wasn't noticeable what he cut.  

You basically unpeel the topper from the paper it comes in and place it on the cake.  You have to get it right the first time because it would be hard to remove it and try again.  It sticks to the icing and then infuses in the icing.  

I was amazed at the finished product.  

We also got 36 cupcakes to go along with the cake since there were about 40 people at her party.  We didn't stay for the cake cutting as the party was an all day one and we didn't want to be gone from Winslow that long, but the cake was a hit as well as the cupcakes with plenty for all but no leftovers.  So that was good.  

It was a lot cheaper than the Sonic cake even with the rush shipping.  

We had seen the edible cake toppers we could have ordered for a Sonic cake but I was very hesitant to try them back in February.  Now I would do it again in a heartbeat so if he asks for something unique for his 6th birthday, I would see what could be available online if our local stores don't make it.

Have you ever used edible cake toppers like this? 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Winslow and the pool

 Last year Winslow absolutely "hated" the swimming pool.  He barked like crazy if anyone was in it and ran around continually and constantly.  He was only 5-7 months old during last swim season.  When son/family came over to swim, we usually kept Winslow inside the house where he would still bark, but it was quieter for the neighbors.  It was so bad last year hubby and me only made it into the pool ourselves one time the whole summer.

This year, in an effort to be more proactive, we started doing research on the "issue" and found that it is not uncommon for dogs to act the way Winslow did around the pool.   Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, says that dogs think of a pool like a cliff.  Dogs are familiar with water at a river or a lake or the ocean that may have a bank, shore, etc., that they can understand, but this water in a pool is hard for them to comprehend. Also, dogs "freak out" when they see their humans going under water, fearing for their safety.  He said it was important for dogs to know how to get out of the pool if they end up falling into it, etc.  Which made sense, though with our pool fence Winslow is never in the pool area without one of us, or both of us, keeping an eye on him.  

So after we educated ourselves a bit, and after my husband had done a terrific job with training Winslow since last summer with not barking when the vacuum started or the leaf blower or the lawnmower, which were all "sore spots" the year before with Winslow, we were ready to "attack" the pool.

We started with just sitting at the edge of the pool with our legs in the water.  Winslow ran around the pool a lot, but when he barked hubby worked with him to not bark.  Then we advanced to getting into the pool as the water warmed up.  I like "my" water to be above 88 degrees before I go into the pool.  I can work my way in at 86 degrees, but I can walk in at 88 degrees and above.  I know a lot of people say that is bath water, but I like baths :)  So when we got to 86 degrees, we started to get more in the pool.  He did pretty good with not barking, though he ran from one end to the other depending on where hubby and me were swimming at the time.  It was a good workout!

Now I think he actually looks forward to being in the pool area.  When we open up the gate to let him in, he quickly does 3 laps around the pool.  Hubby sprays off the deck so it is comfortably cool for Winslow, which is a necessity with the heat we have of over 110 degrees some days.  

Winslow is content running around keeping track of us.  He has only fallen into the pool twice.  The last time, most recently, I was getting into the pool and he misjudged where I was and where he was and tumbled into it.  I was right by the stairs.  He swam over to the stairs and managed to get out of the pool himself.  Our goal is to bring him into the pool and make sure no matter where he is in the pool he can find his way out by the stairs.  

He really has come a long way from last summer.  We've been pretty much in the pool five out of seven days a week since the first part of June so that is a record for us.

Son/family have been very busy and haven't made it over yet to swim this year but I'm thinking this weekend they will be.  Winslow is not ready to be out there with them as the kids scream and jump and splash (and we don't, but if we do a little splashing he will bark), so we'll keep him inside with us.  

And like I said before, after he has been running around the pool he is worn out.  A great corgi exercise!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Brunch

We started making a habit of going out to Sunday Brunch every week when we lived in Prescott, Arizona.  Before then, we would go out once in awhile but after we got settled in, we just started doing it weekly.  I think it was because we had more time, didn't have a dog at the time, and wanted to get to know the area as well as check out local eateries.

We continued that habit when we moved to Phoenix 5 years ago.  We would go to church and then out to eat.  We didn't have Winslow at the time so we would drive all over the valley to check out interesting restaurants. We really enjoyed the "mom and pop" ones the best rather than chains like say Denny's or IHOP.

During the pandemic lockdown, we would bring in meals from restaurants close by and then once things started opening up again, we continued the tradition of going out.  Now with Winslow, we would often go to the first church service (instead of the second one and then out to brunch), come home, let him out of his crate for a bit and then around lunchtime go for brunch.  

About 2 months ago, in an effort to save money, we decided to start making brunches at home.  We have made Eggs Benedict, breakfast egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and huevos rancheros, but not yet omelets because we didn't have an omelet pan to cook them in.

However, this past week when looking through stuff to watch on YouTube while working, I "discovered" a new food channel to subscribe to Julia Pacheco.  She had a recipe for making a microwave loaded omelet made in a mug.  I showed the video to hubby and I said "let's try it."  He agreed.  We also had a backup plan just in case it was a flop.  

It wasn't a flop!

In our version, we did use the 2 eggs each (so 2 mugs, 2 eggs), 1/4 cup canned spinach each, 1/4 cup Italian shredded cheese each, and about 1/8 cup each of a green pepper we had to use up.  We have 2 microwaves; one cooks at 1100 watts, the other at 1200 watts.  I put my mug in the 1200 watts one for 1:45 minutes and hubby did his in the 1100 watts for 2 minutes.  Both mugs were done at their respective times.

This is how it looked in the mug when cooked. 

We made potatoes and ham to serve with it (not that we need potatoes, but potatoes were one of the items we used to get when we would go out to breakfast; either hash browns or country potatoes or the like).  This is 2 red potatoes and about 1/2 bag of diced ham we had left over.  Hubby put some frozen onions in the mix.  

Here's the omelet out of the mug with the side of potatoes.  It was easy to get the omelet out by just cutting around it and easing it out of the mug.  As you can see, it held together well.  Everything was delicious.

And of course, for us, Sunday brunches out included mimosas so we make mimosas at home.  We get the cheapest champagne we can find and Wal-Mart orange juice.  We have discovered we get 4 mimosas from a bottle of champagne (2 each) for the price of 1 mimosa when we were going out to restaurants. 

We are spending less than a fourth of what we spent going out to brunch every Sunday.  Win-Win situation and everything we have made has turned out delicious!

What is your favorite thing to eat for a Sunday brunch (assuming you eat one)? If not, what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?