Monday, November 28, 2022

Empty Nest menu #147

I had plans to do something different with the tree this year, but all I managed was the tree collar.  I ended up using ornaments and such that I have had for years and years. 
And that's also the theme of menus this week: eat from what I already have!

Monday - Skillet Tilapia with seasoned potatoes, brussels sprouts {working late}
Tuesday - Cast Iron Chicken Thighs, green beans, wild rice
Wednesday - Shrimp Tacos with onions and peppers
Thursday - Pork Tenderloin*, broccoli, leftover wild rice {the tree guys are coming - got cancelled last time due to rain}
Friday - Turkey Shepherd's Pie with dressing and peas topped with mashed sweet potatoes
Saturday - Out all day {pay the truck tags, go to Highlands, Bertram Christmas}
Sunday - Dinner at The Girl's place

*this was a regular size marinated tenderloin that I bought on "quick sale" and portioned out for the freezer


Monday, November 21, 2022

Empty Nest menu #146

Six of us this year and a very simple table setting - I am looking forward to connecting with my peeps and spending time with my feet up just before the holiday crush...

Monday - (freezer) Spicy Beef Tacos, broccoli
Tuesday - (freezer) a leftover meal - not sure which one will be left
Wednesday - Ordering pizza out
Thursday - Thanksgiving Meal - I'm making the turkey, dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.  My peeps are bringing a dish to share and I have no idea what each one is bringing!
Friday - Pulled Pork Sammies, chips, pickles and onions
Saturday - Fried Chicken Bowls (a la KFC)
Sunday - Turkey Soup

these kitty wine glass charms were gifted to me by The Girl one Christmas
What you get when you mix Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and vintage sterling
By mid week I should have a fairly large selection of freezer containers empty, washed, and ready for Thanksgiving leftovers.  The fridge and freezer are both clean, the shopping is done.  Now all thats left to do is buy ice for the cooler!
{P.S. Happy Birthday to me today!}


Friday, November 18, 2022

5 thing Friday - mini tree, Highlands, car trouble, cranberry juice, corn chowder

I wanted to put a Christmas tree up in the bedroom - something like a pencil-slim one, flocked, with some kind of fancy dancy lady-like theme.  But I haven't found one yet thats exactly what I want and  fits my budget.  So I set this small potted one out and called it done.  For now.
Its so pretty at night!
Last weekend I went up to Highlands to do a couple of things, including cleaning out the fridge and unplugging it.  It was only home to sodas, Gatorade, bottled water, and a small amount of boxed wine.  Our little kitchen area now is pretty bare.  I took everything off the pegboard and unplugged the microwave, too.
It was beautiful outside, so I poured myself the rest of that wine and took a walk around the top of the hill.
Its all very overgrown - nothing has been mowed or trimmed back in over a year, so it looks like nature is reclaiming Highlands.
Hello, canoe.
There was a light breeze and it was so peaceful.  It was the first time in a long time that I felt that way up there.
So I parked myself over by the firepit and enjoyed just sitting and doing nothing for a while.  I never saw deer or any other critter, but I was glad to have my snake boots, just in case!
Right after getting an oil change, these lights came on.  So I marched myself back over to the oil change place and the guy checked the codes and its something unrelated to the oil change and I guess I will spend at least part of my birthday over at the dealership getting a couple of recall items repaired (finally) and getting it all checked out.
And lets go ahead and add this to the list: I felt like I had UTI symptoms yesterday.  Pro tip: drinking anything from a wine glass makes it taste better, including cranberry juice.  I'm nipping this one in the bud.
And a pot of soup at the end of a long November day is also just what the doc ordered!  This is my mother's corn chowder recipe, which for most of my adult life has been my go-to comfort soup.  Its full of potatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper (usually celery), evaporated milk, spices, and salt pork bits and  tastes like love in a bowl.
Happy Weekend!


Monday, November 14, 2022

Empty Nest menu #145

 A couple of weeks ago, I bought more fried chicken to shred for meals, then made overnight stock with the bones and skin.  Already seasoned, because the chicken was perfectly salted and such, but I added a carrot or two and a chopped onion.  I think it cooked a total of 16 hours.  Look at it!
Its all tucked away in the freezer, waiting for me to use it.  I also bought the turkey, everything for the dressing, and the cranberries and oranges to make sauce.
Let's get to holiday-ing.

Monday - Chinese Chicken Stir Fry, pot stickers
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday Nacho Bowl (taco meat, black beans, corn, salsa, avocado, cheese, chips)
Wednesday - Shrimp Caesar Salad
Thursday - Corn Chowder with bacon*, garlic toast
Friday - Chicken Schnitzel, cabbage and apple slaw
Saturday - TBD item from my freezer or fridge {clean it out, wipe it down, get ready for Thanksgiving, get the truck inspected, clean up the patio}
Sunday - Dinner out with a friend {make cranberry sauce and dressing, thaw the turkey}


*actually I'm using salt pork as the original recipe calls for, cooked down slowly, and chopped into bits for the soup.

Friday, November 11, 2022

5 thing Friday - candy, pears, tree, snowflake, Rad Tech Week

I stopped by Walgreen's after Halloween to find me some movie snacks for the following weekend.
Score - $12 worth of treats for me and The Girl.  I will stash mine in my nightstand.  Do I need a bunch of candy? No.
I bought a bag of pears that have failed to really soften, so I've been chopping them into salads and cereal, and sauteeing them in butter to top my waffle french toast.  I am determined to eat them all.
I hated that you could see the tree stand  within the tree collar.
So I gathered a couple of blankets (for filler), added some pinecones on top, and did a disguise of sorts.  They are cinnamon pinecones so they are doing double duty by making the front room smell so good.
And also, I know I have already posed a pic of my tree, but one night as I was sitting looking at her (its a she tree), I thought "why does she look so cramped up?"  It was because over the years I had bent her branches upwards instead of outwards.  Outwards makes her look so much fluffier! I am looking forward to putting ornaments on, but I will wait until the day after Thanksgiving.
This year's Christmas ornament for The Girl's tree - a tradition I started when she got her first post-college apartment and her very own Christmas tree.  This one is by Amani ya Juu.  
Rad Tech week doesn't hit like it used to.  Its really more of an afterthought now, but I think thats more due to my manager...because its not like that everywhere.  I am so looking forward to:
*a boss who cares about teamwork 
*reliable and new equipment
*the excitement of a new place!
*New co-workers as well as old friends
And I have said it before, but having a shorter workweek and a quick commute is going to be GREAT!
Happy Weekend,


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Little project: lining my nightstand drawers

Mark and I inherited our bedroom furniture from his brother, Harry.  And the most I've ever done to it is sand and re-varnish the tops of the nightstands that had water rings, and paint all of the pulls black.  At one point I wanted to paint the actual furniture over entirely.  That is not a little project, though.  So its not going to happen soon. 
For now it stays this walnut color.  
All of the furniture is in good condition, but I've been wanting to spiff up the insides with drawer liner or something.  Enter my scrap fabric stash.
Voila!  A piece of IKEA fabric from waaaay back in the day when I spiffed up The Girls's room in 2010  {no, I never do get rid of fabric scraps, why do you ask?}.
I wonder what ever happened to this pillowcase?

  There was enough of it to make a little folded over and sewn placemat of sorts that fits the dimensions of the drawer perfectly.
The top drawer holds my TV remote, power cords, and Nook.
See?  Easy zig-zag to finish the folded over edges.
The second drawer holds pamper items.
Hmmm...might have to do the other 15 drawers...some day.


Monday, November 7, 2022

Empty Nest menu #144

 The last two years I have put the tree up early and I have no regrets.
I want to barge into the holidays like I mean it!

Monday - Salmon Patty, salad, new potatoes {seeing the ortho doc about my knee}
Tuesday - Baked Chicken Thighs, acorn squash, peas
Wednesday - (freezer) Lentil Soup, cheese bun
Thursday - Patty Melt on Toast with cheese, tomato, purple onion and tots
Friday - (freezer) Chicken Pasta Alfredo, broccoli
Saturday - Dinner at my sister's house for her birthday {visiting my mother in Brenham that day for lunch}
Sunday - Dinner with The Girl {might go check on Highlands}



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