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All Things EARTH... part 2


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The sandals I tried were all a bust. They are all going back. I ordered the one in two different sizes to be sure. I have a challenge with sandals because my feet a slightly duck shaped...I need a wider tox box area but I don't need a wide. Most sandals are too narrow for me...but wides are too wide.

 

The struggle is real. LOL.

 

Laurie...so is the struggle in the kitchen. My kitchen philosophy can be summed up in "If you are going to cook, cook A LOT. If you are going to prep, prep more than you need for THAT NIGHT." Strategic leftovers RULE my kitchen. I almost always have a batch of grilled chicken in the fridge...we grill 3-5 pounds at a time.

 

I rarely cook/prep for one meal alone...I'm always thinking ahead and how I can use a component of the meal I'm making in a future meal. For instance, any roasted veg can be used in a future omelet or fresh green salad (Roasted asparagus, peppers, carmelized onions, etc.). Not having to cook rice or pasta AGAIN saves a bunch of time.

 

A go to leftover makeover for DS is to carmelize onions (maybe chopped a different day), add chopped grilled chicken to reheat it, throw in leftover cooked pasta to reheat that. Turn off heat. Dress with tasty olive oil...add chopped spinach and stir so the residual heat just wilts the spinach. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese. He will gobble that up and it literally takes me less than 10 minutes to assemble.

 

If you take the time to analyze the meals your family likes and how you can act as your own prep cook during the week to make making those meals easier...turn your fridge into your own "convenience store"...you spend less time getting dinner ready and usually less clean up too.

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Brilliant, Anita! Thanks for that easy go-to.

 

I was taught by my mother to always cook more than you need of items that hold over well or you can reinvent as something else. I cook the industrial-sized can of green beans because, if you are from the South, you cook green beans a LOT longer before serving than is customary in other parts of the country. Any dried bean can be cooked in large quantities for the same reason. If you get tired of them, label and freeze them to use another time or for soup.

 

I'm not sure if bottled sauces are allowed in what you are doing, Anita, but you could always add spices of your choosing instead for this recipe. It's a 10 minute recipe and one of my favorites. Use bagged slaw mix to create a deconstructed spring roll. In a non-stick pan, with a little oil of choice and a kiss of sesame oil, cook onion and garlic. Add leftover thinly-sliced meat of choice and slaw mix. Add hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, or seasoning of choice. Stir, cover and cook until slaw wilts, stirring occasionally. Unless the slaw mix is extremely dry, the cabbage and onion have enough moisture without adding 1-2 T. water to prevent burning. Serve with pre-prepared rice of choice. This is so very easy and you can make a little or a lot according to how many you are serving for that meal.

 

In my house, I always laughed and said my family just liked onions and garlic. All it took for them to say, "something smells GOOD. What's for supper?" was for me to put butter, onion and garlic in a skillet and turn on the heat. It didn't matter what else I added to the skillet.

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OMG Debbie, you just posted one of my go to lunches. EXCEPT...I don't use the those sauces, remember that SOY and added sugars are a no go...so what I do is also add grated raw ginger (I use a rasp) and sliced jalapenos, including a fair amount of pith and seeds. On certain days of the week, I am cooking oil free so I use additional broth as needed to keep everything from sticking to the pan...on others, I am liberally using oil/fat so I cook in coconut oil and also throw on some sesame seeds. If I have it, I also add green onions and cilantro at the end. I will serve on rice on certain days or just eat it without on others (depends on the protocol for the day).

 

I've also done another riff on this same idea using ground lamb. You could use ground beef too. Onions, garlic, brown the ground lamb. Season with sea salt, pepper, dried thyme and oregano. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes (I use a specific brand that is jarred in olive oil). One can of cannelloni beans per pound of lamb and enough broth make it all stir around nice and easy. We aren't making soup. Let the beans heat up just a bit and then add the shredded cabbage/carrots. Stir it all so that the cabbage wilts just enough and serve. (I've also added potato chunks instead of beans with slightly more broth, but it takes longer to cook and right now, potatoes are off limits for me.)

 

Debbie, I've expanded this idea to just about everything. Always starting with onions and garlic. Usually adding something colorful and crunchy and finishing with a green to the point of just being wilted (can't stand slimey greens). This was dinner the other night: onions, garlic, julienned carrots and beets, beet greens and kale topped with shrimp:

 

44098D98-A76A-42BE-B11F-12D02583CDC5_zps2mwjagcr.jpg

 

The beets turned the carrots bright, bright red.

 

Stir fry/saute is my thing right now! It's so fast to cook, you just have to figure out how to prep it for yourself.

 

And yes, all it takes is onions carmelizing on the stove for the household to come out, "Mmmmmmm. What's for dinner?"

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Ok gals, now I'm starving! Debbie, I use that same slaw (chicken, beef, shrimp) all the time. Lately I've been adding mango as well. Anita, that shrimp & beet looks amazing (we have 3 more weeks before DH can have beets again, I will try this!)

 

For an Irish girl, I use a lot of garlic & olive oil [emoji6]. My go to slocooker recipe is chunks of stew meat, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, sesame oil (2 tbsp), a dash (or two of EVOO), A cup of sliced onions let it cook for about 5 hrs & add a large bag of broccoli florets & a tablespoon of sesame seeds. Serve over anything you like, spaghetti squash is great, rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. Takes about a minute to prep & smells unbelievable in the crockpot. Hmm, supposed to snow tomorrow, guess what's for dinner! Melody

Edited by awhfy
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All these recipes look great . When I first retired I really got into cooking and we had great meals now I have slackened off a bit but we still eat pretty good . I worked for forty years as a nurse so when I arrived home dinner had to be made fast or waiting for me in the crock pot because I was too tired for big cooking .I still love crock pot meals . It feels like I have a wife .I also love stir fry and nothing beats fresh fish .Our neighbor caught two grouper and gave us one . Best fish I have ever had. Melody , I am also Irish .

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And, here I thought I had invented something new! LOL I have a little confession to make. The usual time for me to make the wonderful stir-fry is when we've been out to eat and brought home left-overs. Shocking, I know. Best of both worlds, in my mind, because I didn't cook the first meal and barely cooked for the second! Bwahahaha!

 

Anita, I LOVE Beets. I will try this soon.

 

Melody, I agree about the slowcooker wife thing and will try your recipe soon. We are having clean-out-the-frig night when I get home because we eat out a LOT on the weekend, so there's usually a thing or two that needs to leave by Monday night, plus it's my first day back to work and I don't feel like cooking.

 

The red-headed side of the family in me is cooking corned beef and fixins in the crockpot for tomorrow night. No, I didn't eat enough to suit me last week, thank you very much. When I was still cooking for a family of four, I cooked 2 corned beefs at a time. Vegetables were left over, but never the meat. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

 

I've often wondered if my Irish heritage is part of the reason that I'm a dark-haired Spring since most Springs are blondish?

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I've gone thru at least 10 crockpots (overuse!). Good thing DH likes leftovers as I still cook as much as I did with three teenaged athletes in the house! I told him I was making sesame broccoli beef tomorrow, he's happy. Of course, he asked when I was going to make chicken cacciatore, his favorite meal.

 

Debbie, I was a dark redhead (now silvery taupe) with green eyes. Total County Clare. I had the two tiny pieces of corned beef that were leftover for lunch with a wedge of cabbage, heaven! Melody

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What a fun food discussion we're having today!

 

I love my crock pots!! I have 3...different sizes, shapes, and one is programmable. There are times of year when I can be cooking in the crock pot on the side, just to have that cooked food in the house or stock the fridge/freezer.

 

Right now I have white beans soaking in mine. (Sorry Mom, :() We figured out how to do this one bean soup recipe from Celebrity. Mom asked for the recipe, which we had to figure out because it's written to make several GALLONS of soup. We have tweaked it though...and I would say that it is OUR recipe now. Recipe calls for cooked bacon...but we throw in the bone and stuck on meat bits from a spiral ham...OMG, so good. I'm currently debating how much of this recipe I have to change again...you puree the beans to make a smooth soup and then stir in some heavy cream. I'm not supposed to be eating heavy cream right now, BUT, I'm planning this soup for my bday weekend this weekend...and those are fat days, so...I'm thinking this is a fair a reasonable cheat considering the fact that heavy cream is 100% fat.

 

Melody, your simple stew meat recipe sounds good...simple is usually the best. We're having stew meat tomorrow night. Penzey's spices has a mix called Bicentennial Rub that I love on pot roast and other stew meat. I'm doing the basic idea of yours with the garlic and onion...no added oil though because it's Wednesday. I find that I really like to add Balsamic Vinegar to beef...in the same way that you might add a touch of sesame oil. It adds just that bit of something...kind of like wine but with a bit more tang. I also like to add it to tomato sauce and mushrooms.

 

If anyone hasn't looked at the "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cook Book", I highly recommend checking it out. Many good recipes in there.

 

And for anyone interested in such things. I spent some time searching for a dessert for my birthday that wouldn't completely derail my current effort. My bday falls on a fat day where I am supposed to be eating healthy fats liberally, coconut is listed as one of those healthy fats, so here's what I found:

 

http://livinghealthywithchocolate.com/desserts/paleo-coconut-cream-pie-1203/

 

Without the chocolate layer, there is only 4.5 tablespoons of honey (sugar) in the whole dessert! I'm still debating the chocolate layer...I think it might be helpful for the integrity of the crust...but I LOVE coconut cream pie and think that I would actually prefer this dessert without the chocolate. I'll share how it comes out after Friday.

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Ah, food! I love using a slow cooker too, but it really depends on the day.

 

I get up before 6:00, I'm out the door between 7:15 and 7:30, then I get out at 5:00 or 6:00. But if I work overtime, then that changes. Sometimes I'm cooking for 4, sometimes for 3, sometimes 2 or sometimes 1.

 

Sometimes, I just don't know when I leave in the morning what will go on through the course of the day. As a result, sometimes when I plan ahead I end up with excess food.

 

I end up winging it a lot, and keeping the freezer stocked with fish and chicken. If I can plan ahead, I make a turkey meatloaf, for example, for the next day while I am able to in the evening. When the weather gets nice, I can grill veggies as well as chicken or fish.

 

But we eat beef too. I had sauce and meatballs in the slow cooker tonight. We have some good organic products available at Wegmans, the store of all stores.

 

Not everything we eat is great for you, but our overall diet is very good.

 

High blood pressure runs in the family, so I was raised on not really adding salt to things, while cooking or after.

 

Isn't it interesting to see all the different things we all eat and cook?

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My married name is very Irish, so I always have people assuming I'm Irish. The fact is though, I'm half Polish. My father's parents were both from Poland. On my mother's side, I'm what she used to refer to as a Heinz 57. That half is mostly English, Dutch, German and American Indian. Interesting mix!

 

I grew up eating a lot of pierogies, babka and other carbs. My mother grew up on a farm where you had lots of potatoes, carrots and cabbage cooked with things. Coming from a family of 6 with factory working parents, she pretty much cooked the same for us.

 

and I loved banana and mayo sandwiches as a kid. Don't judge.:rolleyes:

 

Anita, I wear a wide width shoe. The thing is, it's only the toe span that is wide so shoes always fall off at the heel. I buy inserts to help that, but I still struggle. During the summer it is nice to wear slip on sandals because as long as I can get them to fit across the toe span, I can make them work.

Edited by laurspag
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Anita, I use fat free half & half instead of cream in all of my recipes, haven't noticed a difference in how things come out.

 

I make my beef Bourguion a lot the same way but with a couple of cups (more or less) of a good red wine & no sesame anything I do let everything reduce for a thicker gravy. Melody

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Anita, I use fat free half & half instead of cream in all of my recipes, haven't noticed a difference in how things come out.

 

I make my beef Bourguion a lot the same way but with a couple of cups (more or less) of a good red wine & no sesame anything I do let everything reduce for a thicker gravy. Melody

 

I make mine the same way and besides adding red wine I sip it while cooking ! One recipe my SO loves is seafood stew . It is shrimp , mussels and scallops in a wine,tomatoes & chicken broth sauce .After sauteing onions , garlic , anchovies & red peppers . You add a can of crushed tomatoes , two cups of chicken broth and half a cup of wine . You then add the seafood & cook it until the mussel's open. I serve it with crusty bread .

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Yum Sally, that sounds so good! I haven't cooked with mussels or scallops before...but I have a stock of shrimp in my freezer. This sounds like it could be just as good with just the shrimp. I try to eat shrimp at least once every two weeks. Supposedly, it is a thyroid booster and it's an approved protein on my fat days. I'll have to check on the mussels and scallops. That could be a new adventure in cooking for me.

 

My issue with the heavy cream isn't fat. On a fat day, I eat a ton of fat...all throughout the day. It's just healthier fat...raw nuts, seeds, and nut/seed butters, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut, avocados, etc...this is what is allowed on my plan. No butter, which is essentially what heavy cream is...so my concern is the fact that it's not on my plan...

 

I think it would be an okay "cheat" though on a fat day since it IS 100% fat. We only use the little half pint container in the whole huge pot though (2 pounds of beans), so, it's not like I'd be getting a ton of it anyway. It just adds that extra touch of creaminess to the bean puree. Which leads me to debate whether or not it's worth it to add it when there's so little of it and it isn't on my plan. Especially since I will already be going slightly off plan with the honey in the dessert that I really do want...

 

I'm telling you...I have been pretty darn good about following this plan. It's been fairly easy because it isn't super strict when you consider everything you can eat over the week. I just don't want to start that slippery slope of cheating here and there and not being able to continue to improve health-wise.

 

Laurie, the lady whose house I went to after school in my elementary years used to give us peanut butter, banana, and mayo sandwiches. They were tasty. No judgement here! :cool:

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Sally, love seafood stew, yours sound great (I also sip a glass while cooking).

 

Anita, only thing with scallops is that that they cook very quickly & if over cooked will taste rubbery. I bake mine with butter, lemon pepper & honey (just a drizzle of butter & honey) for 8 - 10 minutes (covered) in a 375 oven for the tiny bay scallops & 12-15 minutes for the bigger ones; melt in your mouth yumminess.

 

Well, the snow came in as scheduled, our "dusting" is already over 2" in the past 15 minutes & it's coming down hard & heavy. Spring storms (I sat on deck in 70 degrees yesterday afternoon ). Our pot roast in crockpot will taste really good tonight! Melody

Edited by awhfy
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Dangit! I forgot to put the crockpot on. Oh well, looks like it's another quick meal tonight. Maybe we'll have breakfast for supper.

 

 

Deb, hate it when that happens! At least you know what you'll have tomorrow night. When I was working & leaving the house about 4:45 am I'd prep everything the night before & put a large note on my steering wheel to remember to turn crock on...yes, I've done it too. Melody

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Yay for banana and mayo sandwiches!

 

Today was gym day. Typically, we go to the gym every Wednesday and Saturday for a good 1 1/2 - 2 hours. We try to go on Mondays as well, but that is a shorter workout. On Wednesdays, we go to Panera after. There is a Mediterranean quinoa salad that I like. Really good, and I like knowing what it is that I'm actually eating, if you know what I mean. There is no meat, but I find the quinoa is rather filling.

 

Another thing too about dinners at my house is that there is a lot of likes and dislikes going on. I eat just about anything, overall. I can make scallops, and we all like those. My husband doesn't eat shrimp but the rest of us do. I'm the only one who will eat mussels. (I mentioned those because Sally was mentioning her seafood stew, and I was thinking if that would work in my household) Seafood is quite expensive around here. I'm guessing it's because we aren't coastal? Wegmans carries a lot of different fish that is individually wrapped and frozen. Those work so well for us. I can get a bag of salmon, and take out however many portions I need. Because it's frozen, it is there when I need it. Salmon is a big winner. I made haddock last week with some herbs and lemon and that went over good. I'm trying to sneak in a little variety so I'm going to get some flounder next week. Flounder is hard for me...it makes me think of "Finding Nemo".

 

Does anyone else make goofy connections like that?

 

I don't like meat on bones but I will eat it. I buy boneless, skinless chicken and Wegmans has that in a convenient packaging as well. They are shrink wrapped and I can buy a bulk package of 8 but then just cut the portions I need for that dinner. So if I know there will be two of us, I can just take that much out of the freezer.

 

My daughters are young adults - they can fend for themselves nicely. But if they are home and I'm getting dinner ready for me and my husband, I'm more than happy to cook for them also. They are great...not huge cooks, but they are more than happy to clean up and do dishes!

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Still looking at luggage, by the way. I hope to have something before the next cruise. My packing cubes came in, and I'm going to work on packing my husband's clothes that way this time too.

Edited by laurspag
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Laurie we bought Samsonite Ultra Lyte (& they're really light) cases at Costco. A 26" & 21" in a set for $110. We'll use them for Hawaii I'll let you know. I've had Tumi & Briggs & Reilly bags for years, but they're just too heavy with the airline weight regulations now. Melody

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Melody, I will check that out. We have a Costco membership.

 

By the way, we purchases some very inexpensive bed sheets there, and they are fabulous. I still can't believe we paid $17.99 for queen size sheets, and they are so luxurious and well made. We immediately went back and bought more.

 

By the way, the dresses from Steinmart came in.

 

First thing is the funny part. I put the gold dress on first, and I put it on backwards and thought it was great, until I saw the tags in my cleavage. :rolleyes: Honestly, I think these two dresses could literally be worn backwards!

 

Then again, I couldn't exactly see what the back looked like, lol.

 

Once I put it on the correct way, I was very pleasantly surprised. I will aim to try them on again for pictures this weekend. I love the gold dress. I'll know for sure wen I see it in a picture, but the neckline worked. The beading is an antique gold, so it makes it even more earthy looking.

 

The brown I'm not so sure about. They are very similar in sizing and style. The brown is not as warm as I thought it would be. This is mostly due to the beading, which is a combination of antique gold, some browish beads, and pewter. The pewter seems to be a majority and since the brown isn't overly warm to begin with, it's really cooling the dress off. I want to get a picture and see what it looks like in my kitchen. The lighting in there tends to be good, and the pictures come out with true color, rather than reflecting off of other things in the room.

 

Another thought on the brown is that even if it ends up being a pretty good color, I'm not sure what shoes will work with it. I was hoping the brownish beads would look rather bronze/copper, because I do have a pair of sandals that color. But there is very little of that color in there. Maybe what the dress needs to pull that warmth out is to be worn with a pair of sandals in those tones? We'll see.

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Laurie, I went to Steinmart today (coupons in hand). They had the gold dress, so I tried it on, fit was perfect. Came out of dressing room to show to DH. He said fits great but you need more color. So it's still at the store [emoji57]. Melody

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It really is a beautiful dress. I'd get a picture now, but the Orangewomen just won and the men are about to start playing. Go Orange!!

 

Both dresses are beautiful though.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Both the Orangemen and Orangewomen won! Woot!

 

I tried on the dresses and have some pictures. I do want to point out that I often take multiple pictures, but tend to post pictures that are less than flattering. There is a reason behind that. I often think that with the right pose, we can make even a bad dress look good. I want all of you to see it as it is, how it fits me and so forth. I always appreciate the honesty I get here.

 

I'm liking this, especially considering that I got such a good deal when all was said and done. What do you think?

 

IMG_38851_zpsewdnwvww.jpg

 

I thought this one would look better. It may be too cool overall. I feel washed out? Or is it because I'm simply not used to the color?

 

IMG_38871_zpsryxncllw.jpg

 

Here is the back:

 

IMG_38881_zpsu5wofjfz.jpg

 

The I put the dress on backwards. This is an easy thing to do - there are no darts, and the dress hangs loosely. Can you tell the dress is on backwards? I can't, and it was actually more comfortable. I'm not sure it looks better though.

 

IMG_38891_zps2odtbjij.jpg

 

IMG_38901_zpsbyj9argq.jpg

 

If it works when reversed, I think I would take the shoulders up a little. I'll wait and see what you all think. I'm on the fence with the second one.

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