Showing posts from December, 2016

Leftovers Chili

This last week we ate up the Christmas leftovers.  When those ran out I cooked up a big crockpot of red beans and steamed some rice.  On Thursday night I began thinking about meals for the weekend.  I worked this weekend so I needed something quick and easy.

I opened the cupboards to see what I had to work with.  I saw a couple of cans of corn, a can of sliced jalapenos and two cans of tomato sauce.  In the fridge I found half an onion.

So on Friday after work I stopped at the grocery and got two pounds of lean ground beef, a container of unsalted beef stock and a box of crackers.

Back at home I dumped the red beans into a big stock pot.  I cooked up the ground beef and onion and added that to the beans.  I dumped in the cans of corn and tomato sauce.  I chopped up the jalapenos, which had a few sliced of carrots in them and added it all to the stock pot.  I added some chili powder that I had and the beef stock.

Delish!  In 30 minutes we had steaming bowls of hearty chili to which we…

Day 1 - Ease Into It - 30 Days of Yoga

I've noticed that the older I get the stiffer I get.  My normal routine is to get up at 5 am and walk at least two miles.  I then go to a desk job where I sit for 8 hours.  When I get home in the afternoon I walk again for at least two miles again.

Often when I get out of bed I'm very stiff.  Even when I sit for a while I get very stiff.  I've been having problems with my heels aching to the point that I can't do my walks.

So, this morning I decided to do yoga instead of the walking.  I can't really walk right now anyway because of my left heel.  I figured, what have I got to loose.  My husband does P90X yoga at least once a week and he swears by it.

At the end of the day I noticed that my heel feels so much better.  I'm not gonna lie, this 30 minute video was hard for me.  I struggled with some of it.  I realized just how stiff my body really is.  I don't want to be one of those little old ladies that can't move.  I want to stay active.  I want to be …

What's Great on Amazon Prime Video Right Now

Amazon prime is something we discovered two years ago.  For $99 a year we get free shipping and loads of free music, books, tv and movies.  This last year I got Prime for $69; talk about a deal.  I really don't know why anyone would pay for cable anymore.  There's too much affordable programing available online.

Netflix is my number one pick for website with free shows and movies.  Amazon is my number two pick.  Here's what I love right now on Prime Video:

1.  The Man in the High Castle - Explores what it would be like if  the allied forces had lost WWII.  We're only on episode 2 in this series and we're hooked.  Germany and Japan have split rulership of the US.  There are currently 2 seasons available.  So far we're loving it.

2. Mr. Selfridge - This series is about Harry Gordon Selfridge and his adventures in creating his London department store, Selfridges.  It's a four part series and I enjoyed the whole series.  It's a period series so if you enjoy…

What's Great on Netflix Right Now

There are some really great show on Netflix right now.  What a great option for people who want an inexpensive way to watch great movies and tv.  Most of the content is not what's currently on tv, but there are more and more original shows being produced by Netflix.  Here are my current picks:

1.  Travelers - A federal agent tracks four people who suddenly seem to possess entirely new personalities, leading to a startling discovery about humanity's future.  This is a time travel, sci-fi series.  It's got a great cast and we just couldn't stop watching.  We watched the entire season 1 in two nights.  This show is safe for the family; no nudity, graphic violence.  I think there is some profanity though.  We loved it and are hoping for a season 2.

2.  The Crown - This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.  If you enjoy period drama or history regarding England you…

Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetables

This recipe is easy; that's pretty much a theme with me.  I work full time.  I'm busy.  I love to cook.  So, when I cook, I look for easy, delicious recipes.  This dish could be served over rice or pasta; I chose pasta.

10 chicken breasts
3 bell peppers, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce

Put half of the sauce and tomatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker, then chicken, vegetables and the rest of the sauce and tomatoes.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Easy White Sangria Recipe

Two main ingredients and whatever fruit you want to add.  Simple and delicious.

1 bottle of white wine
1 cup brandy
Fruit ( I used oranges and apple slices)

Put ingredients together in large pitcher.  Refrigerate for at least four hours.

Easy Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

We love green bean casserole for holiday meals.  This one is cheesy and oh so good.  Your family will love it; we did!

2 lg. cans of green beans, drained
3/4 c. milk
1 package of fried onions
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans cream of mushroom soup

Combine all ingredients, except 1/2 the fried onions.  Put mixture into baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining fried onion on top.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Roasted Turkey

I roasted a 14 lb. turkey for Thanksgiving and it was too much.  We ate turkey for a week.  So, for Christmas I tried to find a smaller one.  This one is about 9 lbs.  Just right.  My recipe is simple.  I take the stuff out of the turkey cavity.  I wash the turkey and dry it.  Then I spray it with spray olive oil.  You can use butter too, but I don't think it taste any different.  Then I just pepper and salt the whole thing.  I did that the night before I cooked it and kept it in the fridge.

The next morning I roasted it at 300 degrees F for 3 hours.  It was perfect.

Old Fashioned Mashed Potatoes

I'm gonna be completely honest, I mostly used powder potatoes when my kids were growing up.  They were just so simple and tasted good will whole milk and butter.  I rarely made mashed potatoes from scratch.  This year I decided I would.  They are simple, although it is bit of work peeling them.  They taste delicious.  This morning I used some of the leftovers to make mashed potato pancakes (below this post somewhere).  I also plan to use some more of the leftovers to make mashed potato salad.  I'll post the recipe when I do.

3 lb. peeled potatoes, boiled

That's it; three ingredients.  Boil and mash the potatoes.  Add about half a sick of butter and about 1/2 cup milk. I tend to add a little milk, mix and add some more until I get it right.

Easy Corn Pudding

This dish is so good.  If you like corn you will love this.  I was looking for something new to try for my Christmas meal.  I try to cook from scratch when I know my kids will be dining with us.  I know that's what they love because I always cooked when they were growing up. 

1 can of regular corn and 1 of creamed corn
2 eggs beaten
2 packs of cornbread mix (use one if you want a more pudding-like dish)
1 c. sour cream
1/2 butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Simple Cornbread Dressing

I planned to make my cornbread dressing with homemade cornbread.  Unfortunately, by the time I reached into the cabinet for the cornmeal and realized it was a bag of grits, it was too late to go get cornmeal, cook cornbread and then make the dressing and cook that.  So, I sent my husband to the store to get a bag of ready-made cornbread.  It's not as good as the homemade stuff, but the end result was good, so that's what matters.

1 bag of ready made cornbread dressing
1 container of chicken stock
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbl sage
1 egg beaten

In a skillet, sauté the celery, onion and bell pepper in some butter.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Put mixture into a 9x9 baking dish and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Cranberry Delight

The two times when I serve cranberries are Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This year I decided that I wanted to try something new.  This is light and sweet, but not too sweet.  It's perfect as a side dish or dessert.

Cranberry Delight
20 oz. crushed pinapple, juice drained and serverved
1 c. water
2 3 oz. packs of strawberry jellow
16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
3 Tbl. lemon juice
2 c. Sour cream
1/2 c. Chopped walnuts

In a saucepan, heat pineapple juice and water to boiling; remove and add gelatin.  Add cranberry sauce, lemon juice.  Chill until slightly set.  Add sour cream, pineapple and walnuts.  Chill until firm.

The Day After Christmas Mashed Potato Pancakes

We got up this morning on Christmas day and drove to McDonalds.  It was open but there was literally two people working so we decided to go back home and put together a breakfast of our own.

For me, even though it's Christmas Day, it's the day after because we celebrated Christmas yesterday because that's when our oldest son could be here to visit.  Our other son is living in South Korea so we won't see him this Christmas.

I have a bunch of mashed potatoes left over from the big feast so I decided to make potato pancakes with fried eggs.

Here's my recipe:

3 cups mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 flour (add more if needed)

Mix ingredients.  Put some butter in a pan and heat to medium.  I used an icrecream scoop to put dollops of batter in my pan; that way they are all the same size.  Brown on each side.  Serve with sour cream or some shredded cheese.  I served mine with fried eggs.

Last photo of 2016

I pulled something in my left heel so I haven't been able to go walking much.  I'm currently trying to stay off my feet when I'm at home so this is probably my last photo of 2016.  It's Lake Howard.  We're on one side of the lake, hiking back to the other side where our car is parked. 

Lake Howard has become my favorite place to hike during the week.  I'm so glad that the powers that be decided to put in a walking trail.  My house is paid off and has been for many year, so I'm not likely to move.  So, I try to find things that I love about the town where I live.  However, one of the things I don't like is the lack of outside places to safely walk. 

Winter Haven, Florida is primarily a retirement town.  There are two groups of people here.  The very old and the young who haven't left yet.  Of course that's an overstatement, but I think you get my drift.  The jobs here mainly revolve services for the old people; nursing homes, medical offices, c…

Birthday Weekend - A Trip to Tampa

I turned 53 yesterday.  I got up early, highlighted my hair, did up my face and put on some cute clothes.  I decided that, though I'm not happy about being older, feeing sorry for myself wouldn't make any difference at all.  Time is something we cannot stop from passing.  So I decided to be as cute as I could for my birthday.  By coincidence, my set of my in-laws were visiting other family members in Tampa, so went over to see them.

We met my mother and father-in law at the Renaissance hotel right next to the airport.
Such a beautiful hotel on the inside.
From the hotel we went to Ybor City and had lunch at The Columbia restaurant.  It's been around since 1905.  It's very eclectic on the inside, as you can see from the next few photos.  We ate in the red room.

I started my meal with a red sangria.  My in-laws ordered a pitcher of the white sangria.  The water put it together at the table.  They are beautiful drinks and lovely, fruity drinks for lunch.

We were served Cu…