Friday, February 22, 2019

5 thing Friday - party, wine sipping, snacks, roses, Uuni

Last Friday I helped organize a pop-up going away party for a co-worker who was leaving.
Seventeen years of loyalty and hard work, and the boss wasn't going to acknowledge it.  There's something wrong with that.  I made her a chocolate cherry cake, bought some pretty napkins and flowers, and took a tablecloth in.  The supervisor took up a small collection and reimbursed me - but I would have done it anyway.  I hate losing friends at work.
Hubby and I visited two places last weekend that we hadn't been to in a while.  Fist was The Grove in Cedar Park. Isn't this wine bottle filled structure COOL?  We enjoyed a plate of crispy brussels sprouts with our tempranillo tasting. 
Then on Sunday we went to Bell Springs.  No wine club thing going on, no tour bus, no "bride tribe" - and perfect weather.
 We always enjoyed their wines and its such a nice place to kick back. Plus, they had live music waaay up there on the deck.
 We brought along some healthy snacks so we wouldn't be tempted by the food truck.  I think Hubby is doing a far better job with his healthy eating change than I am - yesterday I ate a Twix.  Sigh. 
I hope you enjoyed your five minutes of winter in Central Texas.  All the things think it is spring. Time to get started making my plans for various gardening activities, both at Camp Rustown and at Highlands.  Isn't this giant wall of roses pretty?  I had no idea rose bushes could get this big - it was towering over our heads. {this is in downtown Dripping Springs}
Hubby's new play toy is a portable pizza oven.  We plan to use it at Highlands this weekend.  Whole wheat crust, please!  Hold the pepperoni. And there is also a pick-up party at Torr Na Lochs - fun!  Can you believe February is almost over?  The Girl will be here to pick up Teddy next weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Changing our food habits for the better!

It's been at least a week since the doc read Hubby the riot act on his health.  On the short To Do list: Lose weight, lower cholesterol, exercise.  So big changes had to be made - no sense dragging our heels.  And it will be far easier if BOTH of us jump on this train.
 Since I shop once a week and plan menus in advance, I am loathe to toss food I had already bought.  So after using a bunch of it up (meatloaf and mac and cheese, anyone?) I revamped my plan.  It helps that we are using Imperfect Produce - my grocery trips are much shorter because my lists are smaller and I really stick to them.  I am adjusting what I list on the menu to what I order from IP.  And that's easier to do when you are sitting at your computer (versus the store) making wise decisions about meals.
I have been finding creative ways to use the veggies before they go bad.  This forces me to actually COOK them not just BUY them.  {What a concept.}  We always loved veggies, but now we are enjoying them far more.  And I have new guidelines for my menus:  fish twice a week, beef only once per week, chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs, no processed frozen foods for Hubby and I.  Adding in a pot of beans more often. Menus will be simpler going forward.
Most of the "forbidden" things are gone, but I still have to feed Bubbie and he's not on a diet!  We are adding in fresh fruit, almonds, and oatmeal.  Subtracting bacon, butter, and an overabundance of cheese.  Processed foods are out, and potatoes and rice are limited.  Sweet tea is out.  Beer and eggs are greatly reduced.  The rest of the Valentine's cupcakes got tossed this morning.  So far neither of us feels deprivedAnd though its only been a few days, I feel better physically!  Hopefully he does, too.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Mealplan Monday #233

Silly man, We can do this.
Monday - Leftovers from Sunday - mom shops after work tonight
Tuesday - Simple Fish*, spinach and red onion salad
Wednesday - Honey Dijon Chicken Bites, kale and quinoa
Thursday - Split Pea Soup (freezer), grilled cheese on oat bread
Friday - Roast Turkey, skillet zucchini, mashed red potatoes
Saturday - YOYO Mom and Dad will eat salmon
Sunday - (Freezer) Linguini and Meatballs, Caesar salad (with 1/2 the dressing)
*all I did was season it, lightly dust it with cornmeal, than pan fry in a scant amount of olive oil.
I think that given our current state of trying to follow a pre-diabetic diet, mealplans will not vary too much, except that potatoes will play less of a role in my menus, as well as beef, pasta, and rice.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Valentine's re-cap and sad news...

 OK, first the re-cap!
I bounded out of bed around 7 all ready to BAKE.  After I made dinner for my peeps (and put it in the fridge in individual bowls, yo), I cleaned the kitchen up, then made some yummy cupcakes and set them out with pretty napkins.  I know they are all men and they don't care one bit about it.  But it made me feel good.  If I think too hard about how all of my sweet peeps are off doing completely different lives without me it makes me very sad so I DON'T THINK ABOUT THAT.
Secondly I made this amazing dip for work.  I very very very loosely followed  a recipe for "Million Dollar Dip" adding in cream cheese for some of the mayo and it was AMAZING.  Basically it is cream cheese, mayo, colby-jack, bacon, green onions, garlic, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, and worchestershire.  I served with Ritz crackers for my work peeps!  Other than that, Valentine's Day passed without incident.
OK - sad news...
Hubby was given a laundry list of bad news yesterday afternoon about the state of his health.  I feel very personally responsible as I buy and prepare the food.  (cupcakes I am looking at you) I cannot control what goes into his mouth, but I can damn sure control what I buy and prepare. And I count myself as being in it with him.  
Let the war begin.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Weekend re-cap: the overnight edition

We are missing people at work - as in, we are missing BOTH of the regular staff members that work weekday overnights.  We got a couple of emails that asked for volunteers in advance of outright assigning us a particular week, so I just bit the bullet and volunteered for one - last week.
Sunset meant it was time to get up for the day and have a cup of coffee before cooking dinner...I'm not gonna lie, it was a challenge.  But I was in it to win it.  Ahead of time I planned out when I would eat, when I would nap, when I would have coffee, what to pack to eat...all of that.  
Teddy was not a fan of me sleeping the day away.
But I call it a success because I made it through!  By the time Saturday morning came along, I was ready for it to be over.
I left work at 6 on Saturday morning, was asleep by 6:35, and woke up without an alarm by noon.  After a quick shower, we headed to Highlands.  {this is a pic of frosty trees along the road to Burnet. My lack of quality pics will likely not surprise anyone}  We picked up steaks and portabellas to grill at Highlands, spent an hour or so at Save The World enjoying a cherry ale release and grilled pizzas.
When Spring arrives, this giant tire will become a container for lantana! 
We grilled our steaks and did some odds and ends around Highlands.  Then we both called it an early night at 8 p.m.
The next day we ate a leisurely breakfast and checked on the burn barrel from the evening before.  {We are slowly making our way through the pile of bark leftover from moving the firewood stacks.}  Then we headed over to Perissos for the wine club pick-up party.
Even though it was cold and misty, we were comfy and cozy - the place is huge and was packed.  But the lunch of Chicken Parmesan Pasta was great and we enjoyed a bottle of Sangiovese in the tasting room listening to live music.
It seemed like the rest of the afternoon went by in a blur.  We were home in Austin by 3:30 p.m., made a fire in the firepit, and enjoyed snacks.  Dinner was meatballs and fettucine, Scout and Dutch bailed on us, and after I got the kitchen cleaned up and the laundry going, again, we were in bed super early.  And now its Hump Day already!
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I will bake a sweet treat for my peeps, and another weekend is just a couple days away...

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mealplan Monday #232

Monday - Crockpot Italian Roast*, mashed potatoes, chopped salad
Tuesday - Crunchy Crumb Baked Chicken, broccoli-raisin salad, leftover sauteed cabbage
Wednesday - Pork Chops with onions and peppers, kale, leftover sides
Thursday - Bok Choy and Mushroom Pot Sticker Stir Fry
Friday - Salmon, ginger carrots, angel hair pasta
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - Meatloaf, baked macaroni, mixed veggies
*I was going to make Italian Drip Beef, which calls for pepperoncini, but guess what I forgot to buy last week?  So I improvised!  I added a little olive oil, a couple tablespoons of  Italian seasoning/dried parsley, pepper, salt, and garlic powder to about 1/3 cup lemon dressing and poured it over the roast and set the crocpot to low for 8 hours.  I will report back to tell you how it came out!

Friday, February 8, 2019

5 thing Friday - cling free window, brewpub, lounger for two, lunch, the view

I'm sure that somewhere in my blog there is a pic of when I put that stained glass looking window cling on a couple of windows in the front room - Including the small one at the top of the front door.  It had to be about 9 years ago.
 But I can't find here is what it looks like now, without the window cling.It was starting to look yellowy and I realized that I basically hated it.  So down it came.  So much better.  Its weird how I looked at it every day and then one day in particular I thought, "Oh.  I hate that."
I cleaned up both sides of that window then I put a candle and some greenery up there.  When I decorate for Spring, I will change it up.  So much more light in this area now!
Hubby and I met up at a new brewpub last Friday after work - Brewtorium.  We split a burger and a thin crust pizza and it was wonderful.  The place was packed and yet still Hubby managed to recognize old acquaintance from Scouting days.
For Christmas, Scout and Dutch purchased us this lounger built for two!  It now has a home at Highlands under a couple of trees and makes a great place to nap.
An al fresco lunch of turkey breast from a turkey I roasted up a couple of weekends ago, a sliced poblano, a red bell pepper, some fresh garlic, and two frozen twice baked potatoes.  {Followed by a nap in the aformentioned lounger...}
The "before" picture of a clump of little oak trees we are going to slash down, with several dumpcart loads of bark we are going to dispose of in the burn barrel.  After all is said and done, this view should greatly improve!


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