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The quiche is better warmed up. It's a winner if I put less onion in it. I was wondering while I was heating it if there is such a thing as a Margherita quiche, so I looked online. There is, but it's called a Caprese quiche. It's on my list, although fresh basil is expensive.

I also looked to see if I can get rolled oats on Amazon. I read a frugal living blog that suggested mixing it with cereal. The blogger said that he saves $400 a year doing that. Well, that's airfare to a lot of places. The trick is getting rolled oats that aren't expensive because they're organic. I found something, but need to doublecheck that it really is cheaper than cereal.

Kitty drama is going on because Mimi is hungry, and somehow it's Zara's fault. I've got their dishes soaking. And now Harlee is meowing. A quiet evening at home :)

Brrr!

Jan. 7th, 2017 12:54 am
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It was 6 degrees F at dinner, and 3 degrees when I left work to come home. I had an errand to run at dinner, which I canned because it was Too Darn Cold. (I'd last no more than a day in a Minneapolis winter.)

However, Operation Lower My Energy Bills is going well. I lowered my thermostat to 65 degrees last night, and didn't really notice it. The cats were fine, even Harlee. I forgot to lower it when I went to work, but did so when I came home for dinner. My thermostat appears to be programmable, so I'm going to see if I can dig up some instructions for it on the Internet. I also left fewer lights on for the cats.

I've been leafing through a vegetarian cookbook, and it has a bunch of recipes that sound good to me. But I'm going to make some fish and chips, and some baked mac and cheese this weekend. I'm trying to eat up what I've got. Next weekend, we have a three-day weekend because of MLK day, and that would be a good time to do a bunch of cooking. I forgot to mention that my mom gave me two packages of scone mix that I want to try.

I'm tired. I'm glad that it's the weekend. I worked a Wednesday - Friday schedule this week, and Monday - Friday next week, and then I'm going to switch to my Sunday - Thursday schedule because we'll be open on Sunday. (I could have worked a Sunday - Thursday schedule even though we're closed this weekend and next weekend, but I decided not to.)
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Some of the shortbread cookies that I made on Monday.
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I did a writing exercise today. I have a book of writing prompts, one for each day of the year. Today's was to start a poem with "After three glasses of wine..." I like only the beginning:

After three glasses of wine
I dissolved
Oozing onto the floor
With an inelegant plop.

Anyway, it's got me writing again. I'm sure that I'll get better as I practice.

I made the spinach and mushroom lasagna again, and it is still good. I'm letting it cool off, and then I'm going to freeze the leftovers.

I'm catching up on the dishes.

I found a missing library book.

I plan to do some cleaning, meditate, clean a little more, read a little more, and then go to bed.
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I started reading Getting Things Done. The basic idea is to make a list of everything that you need to get done, and then review it every day to decide what you will work on. I've started making a list on Evernote, mostly using my phone. Every time anything pops up in my head, it goes on the list. Of course, I still need to work on the items on the list! After I finish the book, I enrolled in a Udemy course on how to implement a Getting Things Done system using Evernote.

Minor kitty squabbles this morning. When Mimi is hungry, she blames Zara for it, instead of me. (I don't fathom how her tiny kitty brain works.) But I fed them and all is well. They're spending most of their time together now, and the fights do seem to be fewer.

In a few minutes, I'm going to prep the lasagna for the crockpot.
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By the time that I got out the door, it was 28 degrees F, colder than it was last night. But I sucked it up and ran errands. Picked up my library book--Getting Things Done by David Allen. I thought that this week would be a good time to set up a Getting Things Done system using Evernote. Went grocery shopping. I was going to get mushrooms and spinach for my lasagna, and ingredients for mac and cheese, but wound up with a cart full of stuff. At least, I won't starve. And I bought my first Christmas present--a Hickory Farms box for my uncle, who doesn't do anything and doesn't want anything, but he does eat. I'll get more presents later in the week.

I want to start doing "morning pages" based on a writing prompt as a way to get back into writing. So I bought a sparkly gold notebook and some pens.

The cold hurt my face as I walked out with my groceries, but that's because I refused to wear a hat and scarf. Don't want winter!!! Like that will help.

My mom liked the idea of a basket of cheeses as her Christmas present, but she also said that she liked shortbread cookies. So I'm planning to bake some for her. It's way too early to bake them right now, but I am looking at cookie cutters. I found a snowflake one that I like, but $5 for one cookie cutter? Sheesh.

I'm planning to stay home tomorrow and do some cleaning and cooking. I'm not planning to get dressed. Love "at home" days.

I think that I'll go read....
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After my walk in the park, I made a grocery list and went grocery shopping. Aldi had everything that I need for my mac and cheese casserole. Go Aldi! When I got back, I unloaded groceries, and then grabbed a couple of books and went to the coffeeshop to read a little. I wasn't there as long as I would have liked, but I had my phone call with my mom at 9.

I'm worried about my mom. Her platelet count is very low again. They want her to come to the hospital on Monday for another transfusion. She's getting sick of going to the hospital. She's on the chemo again, but that probably isn't causing the low platelet count; it's probably the multiple myeloma. On the other hand, we got onto the subject of politics, and she was off and running, so she can't be feeling too bad :)

We discussed Christmas presents, and she thought that my planned gifts for my aunt and uncle are okay. I told her what I would like (hand mixer and an apron for my culinary adventures). She's not sure what she wants, so I talked about making her a gift basket with various types of exotic cheeses, and she thought that was good. She isn't eating enough, so anything that will get her to eat more is a good thing. (She always thinks that whatever food I'm making sounds good though!)

I made some cheese and herb biscuits from a Red Lobster mix, and they were great. I also made some homemade baked mac and cheese, and it was okay, but not cheddary enough for my taste. The search for a good baked mac and cheese recipe continues....

I was going to clean the kitchen for a while, and then go to bed, but the mac and cheese is knocking me out. So I think that I'll go to bed and get up early to get some stuff done.

It was an unconventional birthday, but a good one.
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Milestone Marker: I'm now 54. Sheesh.

I didn't go out. However, I did make some spaghetti. I'm letting it cool, and then I'm going to freeze it. I want to do that, clean the kitchen a little more, finish my grocery list, meditate, and go to bed. I need to get up early to get my driver's license renewed.

Zara almost gave me a heart attack this evening. I went outside, and the gate by the back door was open when I came in. I started looking for Zara, calling, "Zara! Zara! Zara!' but she was nowhere to be found. Then I looked outside for her and called her, but didn't see her. I went back inside and started calling her, and eventually she appeared at the top of the stairs, looking at me like "What??" Sigh of relief.

Someone on my LJ friends list, who is a Trump supporter, just deleted her journal. I wonder if she was getting flack for the election.

Soggy

Sep. 30th, 2016 10:32 pm
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Well, I shopped until I dropped. I got to Aldi 20 minutes before it closed, so I raced around grabbing stuff. I did pretty well there, considering. Then I went to Dollar Tree, WalMart, and Kroger. Weather.com blew it though. I checked to see if it was going to rain before I left for my shopping trip, and they didn't predict it. Part way though, it started to rain. I'm glad that I keep a small umbrella in my purse. It's mostly stopped though, so I unloaded most of the stuff from the car. The girls were good. They both know how to open or bypass the gate that I keep by the back door to keep them from going out the door, but they let me bring stuff in and didn't try to get out. I guess that they know when they have it good :)

When I rolled up, though, I realized that I didn't have enough plastic containers to freeze the spaghetti and lasagna that I'm going to make. I'm feeling reluctant to go back out though. Maybe I'll make the meatballs, which is the part of the spaghetti that takes a while, tonight, and get plastic containers tomorrow, and finish the spaghetti then. But I need to finish eating because I'm starving. And feed Zara and Mimi and separate them for the night, so that they don't fight at 2 AM.

It sounds like it might be starting to rain again. That settles it. I'm staying in.
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I went down to Springfield to pick up the vacuum that I bought online from WalMart (a Shark Navigator Pro Lift-Off if you care). Usually, I listen to Audible books when I drive to Springfield or Bloomington-Normal, but today, I felt like listening to music. So I drove down listening to Bonnie Raitt and singing occasionally. Nice day for a drive.

My first stop was at Meijer (grocery store). I had planned to make some hummus, and had a recipe for it that called for tahini (ground sesame seeds), and I knew that Meijer had it. However, it was pricey, and they had some ready made hummus there that was a lot cheaper, so I bought them instead. Sometimes it pays not to cook.

My next stop was to pick up some food for Harlee. I managed to miss the turnoff for the store and also drive past the store without noticing it. I finally backtracked and found it. The store also had a buy one get one 50% off sale on kitty litter, so I got that too. Sheesh, Harlee's canned food is expensive -- $1.50 a can!

I decided that given my spaciness, I needed to eat something, so I went to Golden Corral, which is a buffet all-you-can-eat place. Sheesh, it was expensive ($17.99)--more than what I had read online, but I was hungry. I did gorge myself, and the food was good, as well it should be. Not planning a trip back there any time soon.

Then I picked up the vacuum. Afterward, I went shopping to pick up a few things at that WalMart, and saw some herb plants (mint, rosemary, basil, and Italian parsley), so I got them. I'd like to grow some dill, chives, and thyme as well, but it's late in the season to get them, so I might have to start them from seed.

Then I finally went home. I snuggled with Zara for a while, which was sweet and peaceful until she smacked me when I tried to get up. Obviously I don't understand that my station in life is to be a cat pillow.

Now I want to do some stuff online, and then work on the kitchen. My decluttering group is working; I'd probably blow working on it off if I hadn't said publicly that I was going to work on it.

Food!

Sep. 4th, 2016 10:56 pm
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Well, I shopped, and now I'm dropping. I got all the ingredients for the meals that I planned to make (after visiting three stores), plus some items that I didn't intend to get, such as frozen eggplant parmesan. (I hope that I like it. It wasn't cheap.) My goal right now is to eat less processed food, although I bought some as well as ingredients for making stuff from scratch. So, tomorrow, I cook. Tonight, I collapse.

I saw some nice butternut squash at WalMart. I have a recipe for butternut squash soup made in the crockpot, so maybe I'll try making some next weekend. (I'm consciously trying to eat a lot of different things. I tend to eat the same things over and over.) I also want to make fish stew next weekend. (Note to self: Kroger has cheaper frozen cod than WalMart.)
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I should just resign myself to the fact that I need more sleep than most people because I feel great. I ran errands, I did some work online a little while ago, and simultaneously made dinner, did dishes, emptied some boxes in the kitchen, and threw the boxes by the back door to take out later. I'm just waiting for my food to cool.

I love when I solve my own problems. I told my mom that any food that she has here will be strictly cheap stuff, and we settled on spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread for one meal. However, the one time that I made meatballs from scratch, they didn't come out very well. I found a recipe online that said to roast them in the oven. The recipe calls for breadcrumbs, and I found some old, dried heels of bread that I could turn into breadcrumbs. (Somehow, paying for breadcrumbs just seems wrong.) So, cool.

Zara says "Hi". She's hanging out with me.
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I made Scallops in Brandy-Parsley Pesto Sauce tonight. I added way too much garlic due to misunderstanding what a "clove" was, but the scallops came out well. Some notes to myself about it:

  • This is a very expensive dish. The scallops cost $16 a pound. (That might be more expensive than lobster!)
  • Defrost the scallops 24 hours in advance.
  • Making it will take a lot longer than you thought, especially if you make carrots too. Allow an hour-and-a-half.
  • Carrots go well with this.
  • Use only one or two cloves of garlic.
  • There really will be enough pesto sauce to cover the scallops.
  • The kitchen will reek of scallops for a long time afterward, which might be good or bad depending on your point of view.

I keep forgetting to take a picture of what I make.

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