Monday, March 20, 2017

Peggy's Quilt

Peggy's Quilt - Peggy is the BFF of my "sister" Gige.  Peggy has had some shit thrown at her for sure, but she still is smiling every single time I see her.  She often comes with Gige when they come take one of my kids out for their birthday.  She does that, no matter how tired she is, so that Gige never has to drive alone.  Peggy's husband committed suicide - that would be hard enough to live through, but then her son, Scott, also committed suicide.  I can't imagine.  He was only 30 years old.  His entire life ahead of him. There is so much to learn about mental health and so much more we could do to prevent the pain of loosing a loved one ..... I personally know the pain of depression, and the angst that depression can cause on loved ones.

Anyway - Gige asked me if I would take Scott's clothing and make a quilt out of them.  Peggy still had them all in a tote.  They dropped off the tote during one of their birthday visits.  It was hard for me to go through them, and I didn't even know him.  But I do know Peggy - and her favorite color is purple.  She LOVES purple.  Funny thing is that Gige hates purple.  Peggy also celebrates her Irishness.  With her flaming red hair, who wouldn't ?   So I tried to incorporate both traits in her quilt top.

Now - off to the quilter, once I lint-roll it for threads and cat hair.  I had no pattern for this quilt - I pieced it together as I went.  I didn't even know what size it was until I went to put on that last border - it ended up being 100" by 102"  Big enough for a king size quilt.  I will update this post when I get it back from the quilter.

I linked this post to the Design Wall Monday @ Patchwork Times.  Go check out what everyone else is working on !

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

IP - Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

 These were pretty good.  I'm not a big fan of cabbage, but I ate 2 of these.   I don't know if I would have went through the trouble if I had to make rice as well - but seeing as we had leftover rice from the night before - it wasn't too much work - and clean up will be a breeze.  There is plenty of sauce on the side too - so I served it with the rest of the leftover rice - easy and healthy meal

  • 1 cup brown or long grain white rice
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced then "pasted"
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb. ground pork*
  • *You can substitute all ground beef for the pork if you prefer
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, then "pasted"
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz. each) cans diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon low sodium instant beef bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire black pepper or freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon cold water
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Fluff with a fork and set the pan aside.
  2. Fill a large deep pot half full of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Remove the core from the cabbage and place it, core side down, in the boiling water. Cover and let the head of cabbage boil for 7-8 minutes. Remove the softened outer leaves and place them on a plate to cool. Cover the pan and cook the cabbage for 6-8 minutes, checking and removing the outer leaves as they soften, placing them on the plate to cool. When you get down to the center of the cabbage and the leaves are too small for rolls, cover the pan and cook the cabbage until crisp-tender. When done, remove the cabbage from the heat, coarsely chop it and set it aside.
  4. For the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn light golden brown. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vinegar, bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire (or black) pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat. Stir in some of the chopped cooked cabbage. Set the sauce aside.
  5. For the filling, in a large bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cooked rice. Add the ground beef and pork and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until all the ingredients are well combined.
  6. Lay one of the cabbage leaves flat on a work surface with the stem end in front of you. Take 2 generous tablespoonfuls of the filling and place it at the bottom of the cabbage leaf. Fold the 2 sides in and roll away from you, making sure filling stays in the center and away from the top edge, until you reach the top of the leaf. You can secure the roll with a toothpick if you like-I don't find it necessary. They stay together quite well once rolled, and if they do start to unroll, they can be easily tucked back together.
  7. Repeat this with the remaining filling and cabbage leaves. I usually get 15 rolls out of the batch of filling.
  8. Place the rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Pour in 1 cup water. Place 7-8 cabbage rolls on the rack. Cover the rolls with about 1/3 of the sauce. Add a second layer of rolls to the pressure cooker, alternating the direction of the second layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls. After adding the last bit of sauce, take a plastic spatula and gently go around the outer edge of the rolls to allow some of the sauce to drip down around the rolls. Make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker. It's easy enough to cook these in 2 batches, if necessary.
  9. Lock the lid in place, choose High pressure and set 18 minutes cooking time. When the beep sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, unplug it, wait for 15 minutes, then use Quick Pressure to release any remaining steam.
  10. Gently remove the cabbage rolls from the pressure cooker to a platter.
  11. Select "Sauté" and bring the sauce to a boil.
  12. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
  13. Serve the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Makes about 15 rolls.
Pressure Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls adapted from Mr. Food magazine May/June 2000. Sauce adapted from Miss Vickie's Big of Pressure Cooker Recipes.

Recipe From -

Monday, January 9, 2017

Egyptian Rabbit, Rice and Molikia

The day we picked to get married was also the same day that God decided it would be funny to drop over 3 feet of snow as a wedding present to a guy who had never before seen snow before.... who said God didn't have a sense of humor.  Anyway - as a surprise for our anniversary dinner this year, I had planned to make Egyptian rabbit, rice and molikia for my husband.  God again decided to throw a little snow into my plans (only 6" this time) so dinner was postponed until last night - but after all was said and done -- dinner was amazing, the kids and Sham both said it tasted just like his mom used to make ... which made me happy !  I used 2 Instant Pot to make dinner quickly ... and it was extremely easy.  

For the Rabbit - I took 2 frozen rabbits, threw them in the pressure cooker with some water, onions and 3 bay leaves.  Pressure cooked for 20 minutes (next time I'll only do 15, but they were still good)  Took them out, strained the broth, used 4 cups of broth and 4 cups on rice in another pressure cooker (One that I save for just yogurt and rice and other non-spicy foods).  Hit the rice button and then used the rest of the broth to make the molikia.  Just brought the broth to a boil on the stove top, added 2 packages of frozen molikia and allowed it to thaw/cook until it was all bubbling.  Browned the rabbit a bit on the saute function in Instant Pot # 1 and dinner was ready.  So quick, so easy, so good, I'll certainly be making this more often !


Sunday, January 1, 2017

IP Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

Made this last night for dinner - got thumbs up from EVERYONE, which rarely happens.

  • 3 lbs Chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 C BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 can of diced Pineapple (or dump the entire can, but use juice only NOT heavy syrup!)
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • Chili Flakes to taste

Pretty simple really - I dumped the pineapple in first, mixed the other ingredients in a separate bowl, dumped the chicken in that bowl, gave it a stir, and then dumped the entire thing on top of the pineapple in the IP (HINT - take the insert out of the IP whenever you are making something ... that way no chance of making a mess!)

Pushed poultry and lowered the time from the standard 15 minutes to 10 minutes.  I let mine release NP for about 5 minutes, then couldn't wait any longer so I did the fast release, and wow, did the steam coming off smell good.  I took out the chicken once I got the lid off (I had washed the bowl I had used earlier so just used that) and then put the IP on Saute' with just the sauce in it and boiled it down until it got thick (I added a little cornstarch mixed with a tad bit more coconut milk to make it go faster)  I also used my potato masher to squish the larger chunks of pineapple while it was boiling down.  

Served it all over steamed rice .... and there wasn't any left to take a photo of :(   I guess I'll have to make this again !

Happy New Year !!

Bringing the Blog back to life in 2017.

This will be the year I :

MAKE me time every day !
Get my house in order, declutter, and clean on a schedule.
Use Plan To Eat regularly
Loose the Weight
Get to the gym

On the first of every month I will refer back to this post and report in on how I'm doing !

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Safety Harbor, Florida

December 29, 2016

We just got back from a very relaxing week in Safety Harbor, Florida.    My husband loves to travel so I am used to wheeling and dealing and getting great deals.

Airfare --- since it was a last minute flight, I didn't have time to shop around and get super deals - I ended up flying Spirit, basic airfare was $700, but after bags and seats and government taxes, I ended up paying $1,056   not great for 4 people.

Car - I've found time and time again that Costco Travel has the best rates for rental cars.   For the week, I spent $370 for a standard size sport utility. 

Hotel - I found an all inclusive deal in Tampa, Florida -- more on that later.  But for the first night we stayed at a Fairfield, Marriott I've used before - nothing special - especially since our flight took off  2 1/2 hours late and we didn't get into Tampa International until 11ish.  We just needed a place to sleep that first night, so $90.

Now - The Hotel -- We stayed at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa -- I found it when I was searching for an all-inclusive in Florida.  I called first think Friday morning, and my room was already ready.  That was nice.  I booked a package that included the room, breakfast and dinner, as well as drinks for both the kids (water, juice and soda) and adults (free "drink of the day" plus more) I thought with included meals I'd save some $$$.  Maybe, but I don't know if it was worth it.  First night - they had a pasta bar so instead of ordering off the all-inclusive menu, we went for the pasta bar - cost me a couple extra dollars per person, but worth it - fresh shrimp and pasta - yum.  The next morning there was an egg station set up, so breakfast was good, as it was Sunday, but every day after that was kinda borning and the same.  Dinners .... after that first pasta night ... yuck.  We tried the shrimp and rissiotto -- 5 nice size shrimp, and about a pound of heavy, sticky rissiotto.  No one ate it.  Nadia had salmon and cous cous ... better, the asparagus was still crisp, but the cous cous ... tasted leftover not fresh.  That was the last time we tried dinner there.  So my recommendation - don't do the food package.  They do have great spa services, so a package with included spa treatments would be my next choice.  The rate for the room with breakfast, dinner and drinks plus unlimited use of the spa pools and hot tubs, steam room, sauna, ect was $251 per night, but the added "fees" like Occupany Tax of $9 per night, and 4 different state taxes combined $18 night, plus $16 night hotel service fee, and then another $2 tax on that --- brings the total per night to nearly $300 per night.  Total bill was nearly $1500 for 5 nights for 4 people.  If we had eaten every meal there it would have been a decent deal ... I did find out that you could apply the coupons toward menu items - we may do that next time.  But the part that was worth it ..... the spas and pools.  Amazing.  Had my first ever facial.  Relaxing.  Went to differernt water classes (free and included in package)  and outdoor pool, the only places under 16yos were welcome, an outdoor lap pool, and indoor spa pool and 2 hot tubs, in the ladies locker room - a sauna, steam room and plunge pool (men had the same but no plunge pool)  Amazing and clean.  They give you robes and flip flops upon request.  Plenty of locker rooms to store your stuff.   There is a bar right next to the one outside pool - plus a tiki grill.  They had the best food that we enjoyed while we were there.  Overall, a very enjoyable vacation, and I will visit the Resort again ---- but maybe next time without the kids.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rio Swim Schedule

Rio Olympics Swimming Schedule

I have Comcast Cable, and will be updating with times to watch it live.
Men’s 400m IM
Women’s 100m Fly
Men’s 400m Free
Women’s 400m IM
Men’s 100m Breast
Women’s 4 x 100m Free Relay
Women’s 100m Back
Men’s 200m Free
Women’s 100m Breast
Men’s 100m Back
Women’s 400m Free
Women’s 200m Free
Men’s 200m Fly
Women’s 200m IM
Men’s 100m Free
Women’s 200m Fly
Men’s 200m Breast
Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Men’s 4 x 100m Free Relay
Women’s 100m Free
Men’s 200m Back
Women’s 200m Breast
Men’s 200m IM
Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
Men’s 50m Free
Women’s 800m Free
Men’s 100m Fly
Women’s 200m Back
Women’s 50m Free
Men’s 1500m Free
Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay
Men’s 400m IM – Final
Women’s 100m Fly – Semifinal
Men’s 400m Free – Final
Women’s 400m IM – Final
Men’s 100m Breast – Semifinal
Women’s 4 x 100m Free Relay – Final
Women’s 100m Fly – Final
Men’s 200m Free – Semifinal
Women’s 100m Breast – Semifinal
Men’s 100m Breast – Final
Women’s 400m Free – Final
Men’s 100m Back – Semifinal
Women’s 100m Back – Semifinal
Men’s 4 x 100m Free Relay – Final
Women’s 200m Free – Semifinal
Men’s 200m Free – Final
Women’s 100m Back – Final
Men’s 100m Back – Final
Women’s 100m Breast – Final
Men’s 200m Fly – Semifinal
Women’s 200m IM — Semifinal
Men’s 100m Free – Semifinal
Women’s 200m Free – Final
Men’s 200m Fly – Final
Women’s 200m Fly – Semifinal
Men’s 200m Breast – Semifinal
Women’s 200m IM – Final
Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Final
Men’s 200m Breast – Final
Women’s 100m Free – Semifinal
Men’s 200m Back – Semifinal
Women’s 200m Fly – Final
Men’s 100m Free – Final
Women’s 200m Breast – Semifinal
Men’s 200m IM – Semifinal
Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Final
Men’s 50m Free – Semifinal
Women’s 200m Breast – Final
Men’s 200m Back – Final
Women’s 200m Back – Semifinal
Men’s 200m IM – Final
Women’s 100m Free – Final
Men’s 100m Fly – Semifinal
Women’s 200m Back – Final
Men’s 100m Fly – Final
Women’s 800m Free – Final
Men’s 50m Free – Final
Women’s 50m Free – Semifinal
Women’s 50m Free – Final
Men’s 1500m Free – Final
Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Final
Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Final
Women - 15th
Men - 16th