Tag Archives: dinner date

Adventures in Healthy Pt. 3

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Well it’s Monday and we all know how that goes.  Maybe a good dinner can turn this day around?  This is a “skinny” chicken fajita and it is delicious.  I made this as part of my “freezer meal” endeavor with my workout buddy and it was so simple.  I think you could definitely add more peppers if you like things spicy.  I’ll be doing that the next time I make these.

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Ingredients

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 peppers ( I chose 1 red and 1 green), chopped

1 white onion, chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 taco seasoning packet

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a 1 gallon freezer bag and store until ready to cook. Thaw and put in crock pot for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Serve warm with tortillas, sour cream, cheese, and the other fixings you and your family love. This recipe will serve 5-6.

Happy Monday yall!

Almost doesn’t count.

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As a wife, you try new things all the time to keep your husband convinced he put a ring on the right girl, to show your mother that she taught you well, and to ensure your in-laws know you can take care of their boy.  And notice I said try, which means that shit does not work out all the time.  Almost does not count, and we all know it.  Or at least it feels that way.  When you put time and effort into a failed endeavor, you question your ability to be “wifely.”  Most days I think I’m doing alright, and other days its glaringly obvious I’m wrecking the joint.  The last thing a girl wants is to have all her wifely flaws pointed out.  Because we sure wish almost counted for something.   Thankfully, I’ve got a husband that would basically eat anything, a mom that never gets all up in my business unless requested, and a family-in-law that must think I’m doing alright since they’ve left D with me for almost 9 years now.  But not everyone is so lucky.  

Maybe you can’t make rice.  Maybe you don’t know how to use the weed eater.  Maybe you don’t keep house quite as nice as Marie Barone.  Maybe you thought you’d flex that green thumb of yours and you unknowingly planted all your bulbs upside down: rejoicing when they sprouted through the soil only to recant when someone told you that you were growing roots, not blooms.  Or maybe you got excited about a new recipe but had to make nine trips to the store for the ingredients you kept forgetting.  Maybe you’ve been the mom that could not soothe her crying baby come hell or high water…but 10 seconds in the arms of someone else was all your child needed to calm down.  Dangit.

You do not have it all together.  But don’t get discouraged…because we’re all just figuring it out.  All us new girls are just bumping along the way with frizzy hair, smeared make-up, and still in our pajamas because we haven’t managed to put on real clothes yet today.  Who cares?!  We’ve all had failures.  And those of us who haven’t…are liars.

When I moved into my first apartment, I really tried to cook.  I knew I could make my mom’s lasagna without issue.  I was boiling, and simmering, and mixing, and sauteing like a beast.  Then I realized I was missing a key ingredient.  I sent my roomie to the store and when she returned…I was back in the game.  I had already completed one layer of the dish so I added the missing ingredient and layered my concoction into a lasagna.  I put it in the oven to bake, threw the dish towel over my shoulder with the air of success, turned around to put dirty dishes in the sink and there it sat.  A colander full of drained noodles that never made it into the lasagna.  All that nonsense for a three noodle meat slop!?  I was embarrassed.  Our boyfriends were coming over and I ruined dinner without dinner even starting.  D still talks about my three noodle lasagna as if it’s an actual thing.  BUT I’m here to tell you that there is forward movement after failure, they make oven-ready noodles now, AND I have perfected my mom’s lasagna and dare I say…improved upon it.

You can do this.  Maybe not on the first try.  And maybe not looking like Giada De Laurentiis.  But you can do it your own way and that’s what counts.  So chin up, lady.  And if all else fails, just remember this lasagna doesn’t even need all the ingredients to be good! 🙂

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Please forgive the sad presentation.  This was frozen and thawed before the photo was taken!

My Mama’s Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 small diced onion

28 oz. diced tomatoes (with juices)

12 oz. tomato paste

16 oz. lasagna noodles

2 eggs

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

16 oz. cottage cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cracked black pepper

Directions:

Brown beef, minced garlic and onion together until cooked.  Drain grease.  Added diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper, garlic powder and heat to a boil.  Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Mix eggs and cottage cheese together in a separate bowl.  Layer noodles, egg mixture, mozzarella cheese, and sauce until your dish is full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Have a great day yall!

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See, it’s better already!

Hello, July. I’ve been waiting for you.

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I hope you all have had a great weekend.  Mine has been hectic, but not in my regular busy way.  I want to take a whole different direction for just a moment: separate from the crafty, recipe-filled norm.   My family lost a very dear woman early Friday morning.  My great-grandmother, Marjorie, was 92 years old and was as sweet as sugar.  Luckily, she was in the hospital where I spend half my days.  Tireless care was given to her by my friends/nurses that work on our sister unit and I am so thankful.  At various points in my shifts last week I would steal away to check on her.  Before the end of my shift early Thursday morning I made one last visit to her before I went home to sleep.  A nurse I knew had cared for her all night, and she told me Grandma Margie had been largely unresponsive and had some significant changes in her condition, changes that I knew were impending but still upsetting.  Her course was very clear to me, given the incidents that led to her hospitalization and my nursing background.  But still, that stung to hear.  I deliver that news to people every day.  And while I cherish my patients and their families, and I know how difficult death and dying can be even when you’re braced for the hard days ahead, it’s SO easy to forget just how that information feels to receive.  It’s a blow to the chest.  And my heart ached for her when I entered her room and witnessed the changes myself.  I took a seat, not wanting to disturb her sleep.  I felt like crying, and I felt the lump in my throat signaling that an all out breakdown could overcome me if I allowed it.  She wasn’t moving much, but she was moving just enough for me to feel like talking to her was the best thing for me to do.  Even if she didn’t respond, I knew she would hear me.  So I got up, held her little hand in mine and told her who I was.  She didn’t open her eyes, but her eyelids were twitching and moving so much at the sound of my voice.  I know she recognized me.  While that sign was a good one…I didn’t expect much more.  I told her I loved her, and oddly enough she broke a nearly 12 hour silence to say, “I love you too.”  My heart skipped a beat.  Stuff like that feels really spiritual to me, and those four words were let me know she was ready and willing.  Just like any wonderful grandmother would, she gave me exactly what I needed, she was looking out for me even in the end.  Those were the last words we spoke to each other before she passed.  Grandma Margie was beautiful and kind, and always made it a point to tell you she loved you (we should take a page from her book).  Today, we will lay her to rest and I’m so at peace, and she gave me that.  I wish that for the rest of my family in the days ahead.

On a happier note, I feel like I should report to you that I completed my “something new” resolution for June.  My frand Katie and I went on a pottery painting adventure.  We visited this cool place near her house called The Art Studio.  They had so many different options for our projects.  Katie decided on a plate display for an empty wall in her house and I chose a cookie jar, since mine was dropped by someone else last year.  Pfffttt.

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Here we go!

Katie used ikat patterns to inspire her work and I attempted to draw from those vibrant asymmetrical Aztec patterns.  The first stroke was definitely the hardest but we prevailed out of necessity.  At first it was fun and we were really excited.  Then we hit a low point of frustration…about 4 hours in with no end in sight.  None of the people we started the day with were still there.  It takes forever because in order to get bright, solid colors you have to paint every stroke THREE TIMES!  So basically if you ask me and before you judge us for our slow progress, I painted three cookie jars and Katie painted 12 plates.  If you ask me.

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Drawing and redrawing and erasing. Like a boss.

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Is that a tear?

All I have to say is this craft takes a lot of skill, precision, patience, and Mountain Dew.  Nine hours later we finished our masterpieces.  Thank heavens, since the place was closing in minutes!  Even now, it’s hard to imagine how things will look: the paint is chalky and pale in color before firing, and pencil markings have to burn off in the kiln.  We are incredibly hopeful though, I don’t think we can stomach the thought of 9 hours with nothing we want to show for it.  We get to pick them up in a week’s time. Stay tuned for an update.

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Fingers crossed!

We tried all kinds of things this day, including a new recipe.  I pinned this Chicken in Basil Cream recipe just days before, and Katie and her husband were down to try it out.  Success!  It was delicious.  I’ve added it here with a couple of alterations I think might be necessary.

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Here are the prospective ingredients. All but the eggs. Housewife Win-we realized the recipe didn’t call for eggs before incorporating them!

Chicken in Basil Cream

1/4 cup Milk

1 cup Dry bread crumbs

1 pound Boneless skinless chicken breast; 4 halves

3 tablespoon Butter

1/2 cup Chicken broth

1 cup Heavy cream

1 can (4 oz)Pimento; sliced with juices

1/4 cup Basil; fresh, minced

1/2 cup Parmesan; shredded

1/8 teaspoon Pepper

Directions:

Heat skillet over medium high heat. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, and then coat with crumbs. Add chicken to skillet with 1/2 of the butter about 5 min. Add remaining butter flip chicken and cook another 5 min till chicken is cooked. Remove and keep warm. Add broth to skillet bring to boil over medium heat to remove fond. Stir in cream, and pimento; boil and stir for 1 min. Reduce heat, add parmesan cheese, basil and pepper; cook and stir until heated through. Serve chicken with sauce poured over.

Hope you all have a great week and have fun celebrating the 4th with your friends and families.  Be careful out there, party people!

“Did you say scooshi?”

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In nursing school I practically LIVED with my clinical group.  After two years, countless projects, sleepless nights of studying, and tons of memories made…we’re forever bonded.  Sarah was in my clinical group and she was probably everything I wasn’t.  She was super liberal, a dedicated Hash Harrier, loved to wear crazy, hole-ridden goodwill clothes, listened to Frou Frou, and didn’t care what anybody thought about her.  Not in that fake, “I don’t give a shit what she thinks!” kind of way.  She didn’t care in that confident, “I know exactly who I am, and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t meet your expectations” kind of way.  I admire her and love her!  We ate lunch on campus all the time and she would buy sushi from our cafeteria.  But any time Sarah talked about it, she would call it scooshi.  With enthusiasm, and a squeal.  Now you try.  “Scooooooshiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!’

So I finally found out what all the fuss is about.  There is a place in Charlotte called The Cowfish, and I ate there with some of my buds and my husband on Saturday.  And don’t forget: this fulfills my February “try something new once a month” resolution.  I also fulfilled my other resolution of doing something nice for someone else by bringing Valentine’s Day cupcakes at work for muh frands/coworkers and sent a batch to work with my husband for his coworkers but that’s beside the point.

We ate like, ten meals a each.  D convinced me that ordering two entrees a piece would be smart in case I hated the sushi, and he could order another sushi for me to try.  Ain’t that sweet?   He doesn’t even LIKE sushi really.  I was excited, and the menu was huge and everybody was happy about that.

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These are our fine companions:

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Brian and Michael

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Drew & Kristen

I ordered this Neon Dion roll, and as soon as I ordered it I forgot what was in it.  But Drew, an avid sushi connoisseur, helped me choose and reminded me that it was avocado, papaya, coconut, tempura shrimp and so on and so forth.  So… I really liked my sushi.  But I don’t know that I’m dying to have sushi again, or if it will be something I crave but it was a good venture into the unknown world of sushi.

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Neon Dion

I tried D’s and I didn’t love it.  Drew shared his spider roll with me too…crab meat, celery and some other things I can’t remember.  All I know is the second I tasted it I started dry heaving.  I probably chewed it for like, five whole minutes because I could not WILL myself to swallow that sushi…and I wasn’t about to spit it out.  Spider Roll of Doom!

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And here I am struggling, while my friends make fun of me.

I literally almost tossed my cookies, but I powered through and came out safely on the other side.  Afterwards we drove to our old stomping ground for dranks and games.  Good times were had by all!

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Intense!

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Michael, me, and Kristen. Love them!

Successful scooshi date indeed!  Hope yall have a great week!