How do we eat healthy at work? It is very difficult when you are surrounded by sweets, treats and quick grab vending machines. Being sent home to work remote was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am able to fix my own meals and I am not tempted by the monthly cake squares we used to get.
Meal prep is the key. . .
When I worked in the office, meal prep was the key. Fixing a few days in advance always helped me stay prepared to go to work. Working twelve hour days you cannot just take your lunch, you need breakfast and a good snack too.
This is a fabulous chicken and rice soup my hubbs made this morning.
One of the chicken pies the hubbs made too.
The Hubbs and his chicken soup and chicken pie. . .
We each have our own specialties and the hubbs is definitely his chicken soup and chicken pie. The boys love these especially the soup.
4-5 Chicken breast
2 large containers low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-5 cloves garlic minced
1 T oregano
5 fresh sage leaves
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 T Montreal steak marinade, 2T red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water and mix that together and pour over the chicken and a little chicken broth and minced garlic cloves. Place Chicken and all of the above in the crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hrs.
After your chicken is cooked pull it out and shred about 3 chicken breast for your soup and save the other breast for your pies. Put your shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the above ingredients and cook on low for about 5 hrs, You can use your left over chicken to make pie or you can use it to pack your lunch with salads, wraps, or just over some rice.
Stay tuned for some more meal prep and healthy eating ideas from my kitchen to yours, until we eat again. . .
I resolve this year to be a better me, I do not want to be better than anyone else just a better me. Have said this time and again and I do try to do and be better each day. When I say be better I mean, be more forgiving of myself and others, be more patient with others, and goodness knows I want to improve my health.
I am on a constant improvement plan. . .
I am on a constant improvement plan for myself; improving my diet, physical health, and my mental health. Work required some interesting reading this past year and I am glad that it did. I read some books I probably would never have even thought about. Emotional Agility, by Susan David and dare to lead by Brene Brown were both good reads.
This is the year of the Wedding. . .
Lots of posts will be Wedding related, so much to do and so little time. You would think we have it all done but little things keep popping up and oh, you need to do that too. This is going to be a huge emotional year for our family as our first born starts his life with his new bride. I have to say I am very excited to be gaining a daughter. Sprat and Sweet G spent Christmas at our house this year, which was great.
Tasting at the Reception Venue
Fun at the Wedding Show
Been awhile since I posted last. . .
It has been awhile since I posted last, life got real busy and I will be honest I was just too tired to do anything but sleep. Getting more rest and self care will be a goal for me this year. We could all use a little more self care, I think we hustle and bustle so much to try and please everyone we lose sight of our own care.
Stay tuned. . . Weddings, Love, Self Care and family will be the focus this year. . .
Do not be afraid of my title, nobody has passed away. I am merely reflecting on life these days. Life is a journey not a destination and I am going to try harder to remember that. Feeling the need to embrace new adventures and get out of my “corner ” of the world more often.
My hubby might be shocked. . .
My hubby might be shocked to know he inspired this post. As we age things change; our bodies, minds, and our abilities to do things like we have in the past. I used to be a very social person but, I have changed over the years. No longer do I want to go out to clubs or parties and somedays I do not even want to leave my home. I need to find that social person again or I may find myself all alone with only a dog to socialize.
Now, I could blame my reclusiveness on COVID but that would be wrong. My introversion started way before COVID. The hubs did share a story with me about when he was in first grade and did not want to go to school. He even begged his mom to let him stay with his uncle. His mom made him go to school, she worked the school cross walk. The uncle, that my husband wanted to stay home with, took my hubby and his cousin to school every day.
As I have aged. . .
As I have aged, I have become less go out and do things and more snuggle at home with a good book or Netflix. I must admit the boys being in school in Massachusetts has helped with my getting out of my corner of the world. It has given me a desire to visit other states and cities. The boys going out of state to school may have been a blessing to me as much as it was a blessing to them.
Traveling. . .
The hubbs and I have often talked about traveling to all of the states and checking out their historic spots. He has retired and has not stopped long enough for us to make any plans to travel. My hope is that he will slow down and we can make some plans together. We are the two, that before we had kids, took off one night and drove four hours to get crab legs.
I hope to rekindle some of that spontaneity from our youth. Here’s hoping!
We took a quick trip to the zoo while Big T was home for the Summer.
Many updates since my last post. Sprat is now a college graduate and is on the job hunt. He will be a history teacher and hopes to coach lacrosse. We all attended graduation against the will of Big T. Not sure why my kids do not want to bask in all of the celebration that goes along with graduation.
Graduation. . .
The hubbs and I drove up for all of the celebrations. We attended Catholic Baccalaureate Mass it was a very moving service. We are not Catholic, so it was all new to us. I loved that we got to see the hooding ceremony during the Mass. The next day was graduation, we stood in line for an hour to get in to the venue. We sat for another hour before the graduation started. Despite Sprat’s reluctance in participating in all of the hoopla he had the biggest grin on his face the whole time. I was thrilled to see him so happy.
Big T and Sprat after Mass
Sprat and Sweet G
After Graduation, see that smile. . .
Senior Night at Lacrosse
Sprat and I after Mass
My boys are home. . .
My boys are home, we moved them home after graduation, only to be home for a short while. They are working on getting jobs for the Summer and playing lacrosse. Big T is taking two classes this Summer to lighten his load in the Fall and Spring. Sprat is moving back to Massachusetts for the Summer to work.
Conclusion. . .
Our Summer is packed with Wedding plans and celebrations, stay tuned to see what is next in my corner.
Sprat is in college in Massachusetts, Sprat is about as southern of a boy as there ever was. We are not rednecks but, our hayseeds do show on occasion. The Southern drawl is strong with my oldest, and funny thing, the farther North he went the harsher his accent became.
Sprat’s first college. . .
Sprat’s first college he attended closed due to financial difficulties, it was a small private college. He will graduate from the college that he transferred to when that first one folded. The professors at the first college took great pride in ridiculing my son for his accent and what they believed his upbringing to be. They believed all Southerner’s were dumb and drove around in pick up trucks with deer strapped to the hood. My very sweet and proud Southern boy did not cower or waiver in his studies or his passion, he persevered like all fine Southern gentlemen.
Not everyone ridiculed the Southern gentleman.
Not everyone ridiculed my Southern gentleman, the girls found him very interesting. The little Southern boy from North Carolina had all the young ladies in Massachusetts a little confused. They did not know what to do with him or how to react to him. He was not what they were accustomed therefore, they were intrigued. As you are already aware, my Southern gentleman has found his forever person in the North. The North has infiltrated our clan and Sweet G will officially join our family in 2024. We could not be happier for these two crazy kids.
Sweet G . . .
Sweet G and Sprat became friends through mutual friends at school. This very sweet young lady has taken care of my Southern gentleman when he was sick and took care of both the boys at Thanksgiving this past year. Her petite stature holds a huge heart.
There is a language barrier. . .
There is a language barrier between the North and South, Southerners have little phrases and words Northerners have never heard. If you told a Northerner to “go up yonder and get yur clothes changed.” They may not know where you wanted them to go. “I’m fixin to get supper on the table.” That means you are about to eat. What about a “lightnin bug,” do you know what that is? That is a firefly. Did your mama ever tell you, you were “gonna get a switchin?” If she did that means you are a Southerner and you got your butt “whopped” from time to time. If your daddy ever came home from work and said, “I feel like I have been rode hard and put up wet,” then your daddy had a pretty hard day. I will never forget my mom telling me about a small bathroom at the hospital, she said, “you couldn’t cuss a cat in here without gettin hair in your mouth.”
Sprat’s Southern observations. . .
I will never forget Sprat calling home one day from college to tell us how things were going, this was before Big T was attending. Sprat was telling about lacrosse practice and then stopped and he said, “mama these people do not know what rain smells like.” Laughing out loud, I asked him what he was talking about. He said after practice he and several guys walked out of the locker-room and he took a deep breath and said he could smell rain coming. After he had voiced this observation to his friends they all looked at him like he had three heads. Apparently that is not something they noticed or had ever heard before but, in the South you know rain is coming because the air smells different right before a rain shower.
Sprat called another day after practice just to talk and let us know how things were going. He said, “Mama, the coach was playing a good song on the radio during practice and I asked him to cut it up.” According to Sprat, coach did not know what he was talking about. Coach said, what do you want cut up and Sprat replied the radio so we can hear the song. This is another one of those old Southern sayings. Cut it up, referring to the volume on the radio.
When it comes to chicken or tuna which do you prefer? At our house we eat mostly chicken, the hubbs and I like tuna every now and then. We add tuna to shake things up, it is also a good go to for a quick meal. I know I have shared the old tuna BBQ sauce recipe but I have another one that is really good with crackers.
Chicken? What all can you do with chicken?
I like a little saucy chicken, crock pot and enchilada sauce with some extra garlic powder, cumin, and some V8 juice. This cooks for eight or so hours on low and then shred it and it is great for tacos, burritos, or on a salad. That recipe is on the light side if you wanted something a little more decadent, if chicken can be decadent, add a block of cream cheese at the last thirty or so minutes of the cook. You can do this same recipe with BBQ sauce, even the cream cheese. The Greek cook is really good and lite also, chicken broth, lemon juice, whole garlic cloves smashed, rosemary, and oregano. This you can shred and add to chicken and rice soup or just serve it over rice.
Since I have been eating clean these last several months I decided I would try to clean up my tuna recipe. The usual recipe: can tuna drained and flaked, mayo, mustard, boiled egg, garlic powder, dill weed, and vinegar or pickle juice and fork it all together. This is a very good tuna recipe. I shook things up this week with my tuna using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo, used everything else and It was good. This tuna is good with crackers or over a bed of greens and with either the yogurt or the may you do not need extra dressing.
Some other yummy things I have found. . .
The smoothie recipe got kicked up a notch with unsweet coconut milk, which is surprisingly very tasty. Recipe: 1 cup coconut milk, 1 scoop protein and greens, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks, and some coconut water and blend. This was a really good smoothie add a little rum and you would swear you were some where tropical.
Stay tuned, I am changing things up in the kitchen these next months. . .
Yes, it is official, I am old. I am no longer a mother of teenagers but, a mother to two young adults. Wow!! That was hard to even type much less imagine. Very proud of both my young men and I look forward to see where they will go in life.
Celebrating. . .
Celebrating Big T and his birthday this month. He is no longer a teen but a young adult. So proud of him and all that he has accomplished. Big T was the one that scared me the most; pre term labor at 26 weeks, flu at 2 months with a temp of 106, and then the swine flu at age 7. This one really tested this mothers nerves like no other. He gets so aggravated with me about celebrating everything but what he does not realize is how close I was to losing him before he even took his first breath. So yes, I celebrate EVERYTHING! I am the Mother!
This one did test my limits and my strength as a mother but, I would not change a thing. I am old, I have gray hair, and wrinkles much to my dismay. I gave up coloring my hair but, I am still fighting the wrinkles. Stay tuned as the journey continues into good food, real food, and updates on the nuptials.
Sprat’s friend came down to visit after Christmas, he wanted to show her around our little town. She is from Massachusetts and graduated last year, she is a very sweet young lady. I will call her sweet G, sweet G will be joining our family in the near future, no dates are set at this time. We are very excited to welcome her to our clan.
Not sure how to act. . .
Not sure how to act, I have never had a daughter before nor have I been a mother-in-law. This is going to open up a whole new territory for me. Going to be a roller coaster of emotions this year as Sprat graduates and will be planning his new life with his bride to be. We are very excited and cannot wait to see where they land.
The very happy couple. . .
Conclusion. . .
Stay tuned for more on the nuptials, no dates at this time. Lots of celebrating to do this year.
What are your go to meals, those meals that you do not have to think about to fix? You may have several that you could make in your sleep and you always have those ingredients on hand. These are your quick, easy and maybe even a favorite recipe.
My favorites to fix. . .
One of my favorites to fix in a pinch is homemade alfredo sauce with angel hair protein pasta. This is a favorite for my family and I have to say it is really good. Eggs are also a go to for me in a bind, I can throw together an egg scramble with my eyes closed. We always have eggs in the fridge and with the Instant Pot you can fix boiled eggs in 7 minutes. Tuna is also a go to option for me, a little tuna and some crackers or celery is always a good option.
Alfredo. . .
4 T butter
3 T flour
3 cloves garlic pressed
splash of white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups parmesan cheese
1 box angel hair pasta cooked to package directions
Melt butter over med low heat, add pressed garlic and saute till it smells yummy. Add flour and whisk to get rid of the lumps. Add your splash of white wine. Whisk and add your heavy cream. Slowly add your parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Continue stirring, this will bubble up and become thick and delicious. I do not mix my pasta and sauce all together, I like to serve it kinda like spaghetti, this way your pasta will not get mushy.
My Infamous Tuna. . .
There are several ways to fix tuna; there is traditional with mayo as a salad but I found that sauteing with BBQ sauce is good too. My kids do not know this but when they were little I used to fix the BBQ tuna and tell them it was BBQ. I know, bad mommy for telling fibs. When the boys were little we really did not eat out that much and it was real work fixing things they would eat. My goal as a mother was to make sure my kids ate healthy and did not fall into the trap of quick and easy fast food garbage.
Tuna salad. . .
1 can tuna
1 large spoonful mayo
2 T mustard
splash vinegar or pickle juice (your choice)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Drain your tuna and flake it with a fork and add the above and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with crackers, cheese, celery or on toast.
What are your most valuable kitchen gadgets? There are many kitchen gadgets that I love and could not do without but, my most valuable are:
Opal counter top pellet Ice maker (makes the “good” ice)
Good knives/cutting boards
The Instant Pot. . .
The Instant pot is a wonderful time saver and was recommended to me by my manager. She told me about this great little gadget that can make perfect potato salad in seven minutes, eggs and all. I make soups, stews, potatoes, eggs, and beans in my Instant pot. My husband says it is worth it’s weight in gold just because of the way it cooks eggs. Beautiful boiled eggs that peel like a breeze in just seven minutes.
Opal counter top ice maker. . .
The Opal counter top ice maker makes the wonderful soft pellet ice that you can find in some restaurants. I use this ice for my coffee smoothies and my water just tastes better poured over it. This little gem was a life saver during the Pandemic, we were not going anywhere so I could not get my “good” ice for my water or smoothies for work.
The Air Fryer. . .
Sprat turned us on to the Air Fryer, he loves it because he can do tater tots and chicken nuggets in no time. The hubs fell in love with it because it makes the best roasted broccoli and cabbage. I use it to make: sweet potato fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and it fries bacon like a dream. Imagine making bacon without getting grease all over your kitchen. This is a much healthier alternative to traditional oil frying.
Instant Pot Recipe. . .
This is a recipe I made last week and it was really good. The hubbs and I like pintos but I wanted something a little different and without the fatback.
1lb-1/2 lbs of pintos soaked for about 3 hours
1 can coconut milk unsweetened
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp regular chili powder
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
Drain you pintos and combine all ingredients and seal your pot. Set to manual and cook on high for 25 minutes and allow natural release. This is a combination of two other recipes I found on the internet.
Stay tuned for more kitchen fun and recipes for good food and good health.