Monday, October 16, 2017

What's been cooking?

Made ribs by first cooking in the pressure cooker for 45 minutes and then finishing off in the oven to get some color.  I even liked the one I had.  Gpa P and DH finished them off. 

 Had a $3 coupon so over 5.5 lbs of ribs was only $13.89.  Like getting a pound for free. 

Salmon with rice and dill lemon sauce and tossed salad and grilled chicken legs rounded out the food stuffs.  Lunches were tuna, chicken and egg salads (same thing this week).  I had a lot of protein shakes and soy meal replacements. 
We did eat at the wedding, DH had filet, I had chicken breast. 
The rest of the month will be cooking less in bulk.  Going through the freezer to clean out some things.  Today (Monday) I made Broccoli Rabe (enough for the week) with two grilled links of sausage I took from freezer.  Instead of making a huge family pack of sirloin tips I took a purchased on markdown less than a pound package from the freezer for DH to enjoy.
I'll keep posting other meals I prepare (or he prepares) for just the two of us with no leftovers. 

Still Here

Hi all.    Very busy.   Studio is hopping, played at a dear friends daughters wedding and Pops aka Gpa P arrived in FL with his buddies for two weeks.    DH has lost 42 lbs and needed new pants, so we killed two birds by going to Duluth Trading in RI AND spending some time WITH DD who lives there.   Here she is!!

As always when Pops is away food purchases almost stop.  I was able to make tuna, chicken and egg salad’s for the week for DH’s work lunches.   I also was able to prepare 3 Days worth of veggies.   All from supplies we already had.   Didn’t even go to farmers market yesterday.      Other expenditures usually go up as we try to do projects and home improvements in these windows were he’s away,  sometimes all of the change in routine throws him off.

The plans for this month are a new side table for my husband. Will be moving his current side table into pops apartment and getting rid of a very old table (I did get his approval).    Will also have someone come in and give us a quote to Reside our house. It may not happen until I finish paying off the carpeting. We tend to do these large projects with 0% financing and I make sure that we pay it off before it’s through. We know that we can get 0% financing on the siding job so I think the hardest part for us will be to decide what color.    We’ve already agreed that we want the shingle style.

I’ve spent today deep cleaning Pops bathroom.      I have to pace myself as I get exhausted easily.   I have been trying to eat a bit more (lost 19 lbs, not necessarily a bad thing.....) I think part of my fatigue has been not eating enough.

 We also purchased a narrow storage units of the side of our toilet.   Can never have too much storage.

Also making sure that I enjoy nature.  This deer was confused.  Taken from my kitchen window, so you can hear some of our clocks going off and a tv in the background.

Here is some of my decorating for Halloween. What’s been going on in your side of the world?

DH looks so handsome, doesn't he?

Not Halloween, but something we picked up in Maine in September  Love it!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meals this past week

Sunday was the new favorite steakhouse burgers from the local produce market in town.  Can of baked beans, fresh salad.  I only had a burger, no beans.  With a bit of white rice. 

Monday was baked salmon with lemon dill seasoning we purchased in PA.  More rice, fresh beautiful farmers market broccoli.   Enough Salmon left for me through Thursday.  I tend to only eat one 'meal' a day, before I go into the studio.  Then it's little 100-150 calorie soy or whey protein based meals.  A bit of cheese, some soy chips.  It's easier for me.  Sometimes soy does bother me, need to pick and choose.

Tuesday was ny strip for the men, with cucumbers and tomatoes and yellow rice (we eat a lot of rice)  DH grilled some sausage for later in the week.

Wednesday was bubble and squeak for the men, cabbage, peppers and onions with bacon.  I took some wheat bread from the freezer and Gpa P had some of that too.

Thursday found me making swiss chard, stewing some tomatoes in my instant pot for soup, giving the men vegetable choices to have with the grilled sausage.

This soup was so good.  Organic tomatoes from share, basil and oregano from my herb beds.  Two heaping tablespoons of powdered heavy cream.  Amazing! 


Friday will be roasted chicken with Chinese broccoli and buffalo cauliflower (and rice if any left from last cookoff)

I will make stock in the instant pot Friday night, to throw together a pot of soup for the men for over the weekend.  DH and I are going to Lake George area after I'm done teaching Saturday to go to the Warrensburg 'world's largest garage sale' to see what it is all about.  I will also be making a stop at Oscar's smoke house as we are down to our last package of bacon.  I will share a post about that when we get back!

Soup with turnip greens, carrots, onion, celery and lentils. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

What did I do today, Thursday

Some of the blog posts that I enjoy reading the most or hearing about how people spend their day.
So , I thought I would share with you  my day today.

Some background info.   I have been in extreme pain for about a week because of a Crohns Disease flare.   Those of you who don't know what it is, it   causes extreme inflammation mainly in my digestive track from my mouth to the opposite end.  It can cause swelling, bleeding and other unmentionable side effects.    Besides the bathroom issues and stomach pain, With me it causes UTI symptoms with me as well as extreme muscular and joint  pain.   In a full flare, I do not eat or drink for days.   I am in constant pain and exhausted.   Sometimes even my vision is affected.

Today was my least pain day.     Even though I always get up with DH, today as always I went back to sleep.    But I woke just 45 minutes after  he left feeling very refreshed. So I got up and immediately threw a load of darks into the washer.

 I made the bed. I replied to business emails and checked various accounts online.

I made myself a soy flour pancake. Yes just one. I drank 16 ounces of water, took my morning meds, and had a cup of coffee.   I started a new pot of cold brew.

 I hung the work shirts and other clothes that I'm not putting in the dryer. I put the rest of the clothes in the dryer and I started working in the kitchen.

I prepared and steamed a batch of Swiss chard on the stove top.    I prepped and started a batch of tomatoes in the instant pot.  

While that cooked, I weeded the front flower bed.   Was excited to see my Chinese lantern plant I had put there last fall actually DID bloom this year.    I put two succulents that had been in flower pots on the porch in the wagon planter pulled by Dominic the Donkey.   I also watered all the pots/plants that needed it.

I put a mini rose plant from a student that was feeling neglected into the ground by our mailbox.   Hopefully it will bounce back.    I also planted the last mum near the mailbox too.

Came in and turned tomatoes into creamy tomato basil soup.     I enjoyed a half of a cup.  (Yes, I do measure all my food). Loaded and started dishwasher.

I folded and put away the laundry.    It is now 1030 am and I am enjoying my second cup of coffee as I write my morning so far.    Rachel Ray is on the tv.

I collected the trash and recycling as it is picked up on Friday morning.      I wrote checks.    Prepared some banking.    Put soup and chard in fridge.  Had lunch.   Prepared and labeled my lunch for Friday.   I have to do this as Gpa P eats everything.    Labels don't always work.   LOL

Left house at 1245.   Stopped at bank.    Gassed up "the bomb".  Arrived at studio and tidied up from ensemble rehearsal last night.    Started teaching at 2 pm - 830 pm.    Break today 3-330 when I spoke with DH.

Spoke with a students Mom from 835-845.    Arrived home a bit after 9.   Kissed DH.   Had a half cup more of the tomato soup I had made.    Read a few blogs.   Talked with DH.  Watched the last few minutes of Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam with  DH . We were in bed by 1030.

How did you spend your Thursday?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How I use my garden

I don't have much time to garden, but do find time to make myself happy and share it with others. 

I mainly do flowers and herbs, some years I do garlic or other long growing crops (such as strawberries)

I pick and dry my herbs, and then share them with friends as gifts or use in my own cooking.

Here is a batch of basil I have had hanging in the garage (no sunlight, good air flow)
I did put it in the oven briefly at a whopping 450 degrees for just 3 minutes to kill any left over buggies.

Used my immersion blender to crush it up. 

Using it today in some stewed tomatoes.
I also keep a bowl of organic lavender flowers in our bedroom which I occasionally revitalize with some lavender oil.   This is the first year my lavender actually bloomed, so I added some fresh flowers to my antique orange carnival glass powder canister.
This is my low set of drawers in our bedroom.  This piece always makes me smile, my eyes are always drawn to it when I enter the room.  Where our wedding and tinplate photos are, and where I put a vase of flowers each week. 
Surround yourselves with things that bring you joy!

Monday, September 25, 2017

September Grocery Budget

August 27 $5.00 at Farmers Market

August 27 $71.56 CT Fresh Food & Produce Market.  Ouch, this one hurt, but according to the men, the meat was a winner.  Steakhouse Burgers which were a combo of ground round and short rib.  I got 8 burgers, total of 4 pounds.  DH cooked 6 and 5 were eaten.  Pound of aged Italian Provolone (treat for me) Some premade tuna salad as I was starving from the deli, 2 lbs of broccoli rabe, spring mix (my market share farm got raided by deer so no salad greens) and potato rolls for their burgers.

August 30, $19.96 Stop and Shop Gallon of milk, three 35 count cases of spring water (plus deposit)

September 5, BJ's Warehouse, $115.72 count starbucks K cups (should last for at least two months as I also am making pots), 3 heads of Romaine, Boneless Pork loin that I split into three roasts, salmon filet, pound of white American, pound of turkey breast, Dubliner irish cheddar, sharp provolone, stok cold brew (keep at studio if I finish what I bring from home) 2 pounds of beef jerky, 2 pounds of sliced pepperoni, wasabi peas.

September 6, Big Y $10.08 Large jug of almond milk, two packages of 6 chicken legs each, and on the crash and burn table 2 lbs of organic basmati rice.

September 7, Stop and Shop $70.13   Dave's Killer Bread (Gpa P consumed all but two pieces along with all the tomatoes *eye roll* more pepperoni, onion dip (spurge for me, carrots with the dip), Arla Herb cream cheese FREE after savings star, stok iced coffee, two egg/nut/cheese packages that I got for pennies after coupons and checkout 51, 4 birdseye frozen cauliflower seasoned bags, Hellmans mayo, 4 lbs of Italian Sausage, 4.81 lbs of 80% lean ground beef, a bag of 8 reduced peppers that were blemish free (go figure that, but I loved the deal!) 2.36 lbs of seedless grapes, 5 pounds of yellow onions and 3 pounds of sweet onions. 

September 14, BJ's Warehouse $96.06 20 lbs of rice, 3 lbs of Broccoli, 3 lbs of Ricotta, organic applesauce (have to make my own) 5 lbs of BSChixB, 3ish lbs of sirloin tips, 20 ounces of mushrooms, 24 ounces of parmesan, gallon milk, 3 packages of Krusteaz pumpkin bread, 48 ounces Stok coffee, 48 ounces of half sour pickles (these were really good!) 16 ounces of romano and a pack of Wholly Guacamole minis.

September 14 Big Y $27.19 Daves Killer Organic Bread, 647 Wheat Bread (may not be able to eat this, but will try a slice), 2 Soupman Lobster Bisque in box at the crash and burn section, they must be discontinuing carrying this as they are dated into 2019.  Thomas' toaster cake (a want) 3 large whole chickens (B1G2F!)

September 17 Farmers Market $13.75

September 17 CT Fresh Food and Produce Market $79.15 $55.23  OMG I just found a huge problem on this, I knew it was to much.  I was charged 26.91 for burger rolls.  Ugh ugh ugh.  Ugh, this was a huge mistake for what I brought home.  DH loved the steakhouse burgers I got last time.  They are a definite splurge.  Fed 4 at dinner, and two for lunch.  3 cukes, head of iceburg lettuce, cream cheese, 3 deli salads one pound each.  KUDOS to this local business, I phoned and they told me to come right down.  They were very busy when I was there, plus I had the Uncle.  I was charged for 9 packages of rolls.  They refunded my monies.  PHEW.

September 24th Farmers Market $29

September 24th CT Fresh Food & Produce Market $44.52     3/4 lb of prepared buffalo wings for hubby, one bunch of swiss chard only .69!, 6 of those lovely burgers (I'm sensing a sunday pattern), head of iceburg, mushrooms, two huge cukes and a half gallon of apple cider.

September 25th BJ's wholesale, $55.76 salmon, a four pack of ny strips (froze 2 of them), 32 ounces of sour cream,  gallon of milk and a case (40 count) of water. 

Total spent:  $601.21        But let's put this in perspective.  Out of items I purchased or acquired this month I still have almost 3 dozen eggs  2 sirloin, 2 whole chickens, loads of produce that I have prepped and frozen.  Many pieces and bits of cheese.  Unopened sour cream, lobster bisque, 4 toaster cakes.  2.5 lbs of chicken breast, guacamole cups, 2 lbs of onions, 2 porkloin roasts, one stick of unopened pepperoni, frozen bread and an unopened gallon of milk and case of water (I'm still using my newly acquired pitcher)

We are pretty set for the beginning of October. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Farmer's Market September 23, 2017

$ spent was $9.50 on two loaves of pumpernickel (froze one) $4 on concord grapes (a childhood many memories.    Uncle reminded me I am just coming off a very bad Crohn's flare, but I don't care....I didn't swallow seeds or skin, just relished the taste. )    $4 on the most tender broccoli.   $11.50 on the leanest sausage I have ever eaten.     Total OOP is $29

Grapes look odd in photo from flash but they are delish

Shown below are market share from Four Root Farm

2 pints assorted cherry, quart of Romas and 3 large heirloom

Japanese white turnips and celery

Chinese broccoli


Fairy tale eggplant


Friday, September 22, 2017

Ibotta and Savingstar DO payout! (referral link)

Proof that Ibotta does pay, $50 plus dollars transferred to my paypal account.
Proof that Savingstar really does pay too!

A total of $73.28 was deposited to my paypal account which has been used to pay for some odds and ends on ebay that I need for holiday gift making.
And right now, if I invite friends, I can get some $ back!  Here is the information if you are interested in signing up.

Hey! Thought you would enjoy Ibotta (if you don’t already). It’s an easy to use, cash back rewards app. I use it every time I shop, and thought you would like it too! Use my referral code, g4bypg, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at

Meals for the Men this week and food prep

Earlier in the week I made chicken/rice soup
A nice salad

Chicken Italian Sausage from with onions/peppers
I thought it was very good.  The men think only pork should be in sausage
So, they got their pork want
I browned this roast (part of a larger loin that I broke up into several meals)
a jar of Goya Sofrito and a lot of onions went with it into the crockpot.

Not pictured is grilled chicken breast with broccoli and rice
I also have been prepping food for future meals.  Half of the corn I purchased from the farmers market was frozen

Any easy way is to shuck the corn, then put the smaller end of the ear into the hollow of a bundt pan and then slice the kernels into the bowl.  Works like a charm.  Very little mess.
I have picked more sage for drying, as well as harvesting all the fennel seeds (future pork sausage and bread baking additions) into a paper sack for jarring up later.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Farmers Market 9/17/17

I will miss the market once it shuts down for the winter. 
Loaf of beautiful pumpernickel, sorry didn't get to it before Uncle and Gpa P found it for a full sized picture   $4.75
Celery, part of market share

More tomatoes from my share.  My organic farmer Rachel from Four Root Farm got a kick out of the Gpa ate all the tomatoes story.

Spring mix, beautiful peppers and okra.  Market share.

Dozen ears of corn $6.00

Swiss Chard market share

$3 Curry Squash

Friday, September 15, 2017

Do you ever relax?

Sharing a pic from our recent Maine excursion over Labor Day Weekend

 I'm reaching out to all those working moms and dads to find out if you truly ever relax. I include the dads, but I know that my DH has no qualms about sitting down at the end of a workday or when we return from a trip and turning on the TV… While I'm sorting laundry,  doing laundry, and planning meals for the week.  Never mind me starting to get back into full business mode ( which I never leave completely even when we're away)

 This is in no way a guilt trip aimed at  my husband either. I do not begrudge him that he can do this. I want to know why I CANT!    As in I do not allow myself any time to relax unless we are away. And even then, I never can fully relax.

 Just this morning, after only getting six hours sleep and waking up exhausted I have divvied up chicken breasts and frozen them into two packages after wrapping them and marking them. I also prepped. Sauce tomatoes for freezing.  I have another whole chicken roasting. I've done dishes. I've done two loads of darks and hung up one sent to dry on hangers. I've emptied the dishwasher. I've made the bed.   I rearranged flowers and made another flower arrangement.

 I also have had 28 ounce glasses of water, 1 cup of coffee, and one piece of my own gingerbread cake that I know is 110 cal. While drinking and eating I read one blog and I've had the news on  now I'm writing this post by verbalizing on my speaker app.

I still have to reply to four parent emails, do a deposit for the studio, make another ad for the studio, and wash the kitchen floor. Oh and I really should clean my bathroom.

All this  before I have to leave to actually go teach.     Today is actually a light day only 230 to 7 for actual teaching students hours.

I try to get in some reading time but I always feel guilty. Like I shouldn't have to feel guilty about wanting to sit down and read a magazine.   Do any of you have trouble letting yourselves rest?  Would you believe I just answered my land line with my business hello?  So embarrassing.... OK, going to clean the bathroom now.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Planned meals

This past week I planned on making:

 sirloin tips (freezer) with mushrooms and tossed salad

Bubble and Squeak (fried cabbage with onions, peppers and BACON)

Pea Soup (ham bone from freezer, dried peas, onion, celery, carrots, black pepper)

Pork loin with lots of onions and red peppers sorry a bit blurry, DH sent me a picture while I was teaching.

Zucchini quiche with a HUGE zucchini gifted by a student. 

Four out of five were done (no Bubble and Squeak)

This week so far I have made chili, sausage and peppers (grilled 4 packages of sausage and froze some for future meals) swiss chard and sausage, still have to make the Bubble and Squeak and tonight DH get's his steak treat of sirloin tips, mushrooms and broccoli.

Farmers Market September 9th

All tomatoes and Okra were from market share.  A bit of Gpa P drama, he ate all the tomatoes in a 4 hour span.  I got two cherry tomatoes that happened to fall behind the bowl.  He then said he threw them out as they were bad and weeks old.  Sigh.  He had eaten them.  I hope they were yummy.
I paid $6 for the two celaric (celery roots) at another organic tent.  I cut of the greens and chopped and froze them for future soups.  The Okra was also sliced, prepped and frozen. 

Two bags of salad greens and two eggplants from our market share

Swiss chard (already blanched and frozen) more white turnips (greens cut off and julienned for soups and stews) and carrots all from my market share.

I also spent $6 on another bunch of beautiful flowers.  A splurge that I am enjoying.
So, $12.00 spent, $6 which was actual food.