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Brussel Sprouts

February 23rd, 2019 at 04:54 am

I don't even remember where I saw it, but I saw a recipe for brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar. I thought that sounded really good, but poked around for a more positively reviewed recipe. I found a winner:

Text is https://keviniscooking.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts-balsamic-vinegar-honey/ and Link is


In other randomness, we made it through African Queen and Duck Soup. Our weekend is busy, so I am guessing that is all we will get to. But we are getting caught up on "Top 100" movies.

Tonight we are going to the Symphony. I expected to drop expenses like this with my pay cut. Not a huge adjustment, as we were just getting to a point where we could add these kinds of expenses to our budget. But I've had so much side work, we splurged. Tonight is Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue. I am so excited!!

South of the Border Wraps

December 18th, 2018 at 07:29 pm

MH dug out an old recipe a couple of weeks ago and it was *so good*. Better than I remembered.

Text is https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/south-of-the-border-wraps/ and Link is

Just some beans and veggies, with some cheese and butter. & I can imagine infinite ways to customize to one's taste and/or what is on hand.

MM(15) and I made for dinner tonight. I wanted to share while I Was thinking about it.

Indian Recipe

September 24th, 2018 at 05:23 am

When MH was at the Indian grocery store the other day, the clerk gave him this recipe. MM(15) wanted to make it for lunch. I only had a bite, but *wow*, I don't know if we have ever made such an authentic Indian recipe before. (Beware: It's spicey!)

Egg Bhurgi Recipe

3 Eggs
2 Tbs Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
1 Serrano Pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Garam Masala
3/4 tsp Cayenne Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro, divided

Beat eggs in a bowl.

Heat oil in pan, add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add onions & serrano peppers and fry until golden.

Add ginger and garlic. Fry till you get a nice aroma.

Pour in the eggs and scramble lightly. Stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add garam masala, chili powder and half of cilantro. Stir well, salt as needed.

Garnish with remaining cilantro.

Serve with rice or bread (or tortillas?)


In other randomness, my 13yo randomly asked me for help making eggs "sunny side up", on Saturday? He made them, but was asking me if I thought they were done. HA! I had no idea. I know how to scramble eggs? I think DL(13) was pleased with his cooking skills. As the younger child, I think usually he just lets everyone do things for him. MM would plan and prepare a 5-course meal. In contrast, DL would whine if I told him he could make his own mac and cheese. So it was nice to see him being so adventurous in the kitchen.

He's on an egg kick, so I taught him how to hard boil yesterday. So that the shell comes off very easily.

July 1

July 2nd, 2018 at 06:06 pm

July 1
$10 Parking @ Water Park
$0 Movies
$0 Library books
Dinner: Parmesan Pasta & Mediterranean Salad

Note: Just tracking spending. Not attempting to cut expenses or to be uber frugal.


For whatever reason, was thinking of tracking spending this month (er, sharing in the blogs. I always track spending). Life has been crazed and I don't even remember why I was thinking that, except for maybe a bit of a reset.

I didn't even realize it was UFM month. I guess that is extra motivation.

{I don't generally participate in UFM and don't want to upset our delicate balance. But the way I participate is by sharing our spending. I will put some kind of disclaimer on my posts}.

I am also putting these in the "one-income" category since MH doesn't work during the summer months.


I had bought premium season passes to our local water park around the time of Black Friday. About 50% off current prices.

The catch is that we had to process our season passes at this location, and ideally before the Fair starts. (I personally bought my season pass more for another location).

So we took care of that yesterday. It was a pretty horrible trip for us adults (especially because I wasn't feeling well and it was crazy hot). But, the kids had fun. (We maybe stood in lines for an hour, and then the kids spent an hour on the slides. It wasn't that crowded but they were just that inefficient. Security was slow. Season passes were slow. Ugh). I could see MH being more moody about the whole thing, since he is the one who will be taking the kids on weekdays and generally doesn't do *sun*, but he seemed impressed with how cheap the passes were. (The way to his heart is through a good deal?).

I also ended up getting a free meal while we were there. MH got me something because I was so miserable, and we thought it might help. So we went through all the coupons we got (x4) and I chose whatever was cheap. (I mean, it's all junkie food I wasn't that enthralled with to begin with). In the end, they refused to let MH pay. HA! Told him he had some kind of meal card. He argued with them a bit, but then figured he doesn't know what the heck I bought. I told him 100% I did not buy or get any meal cards. So he decided to go check with customer service and see what the heck. Because if our meals were really supposed to be free then he was getting the kids some free food.

I guess it's early in the season. Everything was just kind of very slow and was chaos. In the end, we were not supposed to get a free meal. Wink The free food put us in a better mood though.

After that, I slept for several hours. I just hadn't been feeling well, and have some other medical issues in addition to having some kind of bug yesterday.

When I woke up, I was craving some pasta recipe I saw online earlier. We had everything on hand (though our fridge was mostly bare otherwise). I asked MH what he was planning to make for dinner, and it was actually something similar. He was fine with me taking over dinner. Everyone liked it. I didn't have a quick/easy creamy pasta dish before. Now I have one:

Text is https://damndelicious.net/2014/10/11/one-pot-garlic-parmesan-pasta and Link is

Other than that, I've been reading. I might have to finish my library (ebook) tonight. It's due back any second.

We watched the French Connection last night. That one was pretty weird. Every movie we watch leads to like 5 more movies to watch. Anyway, MH told me I had to watch the commentary track. I think he bought this one at the used store ($0 cash out of pocket ~ used his credit). We didn't realize until after that it was based on a true story. Anyway, there are not enough hours in the day and I have had to let it all go. But maybe I can squeeze in this one commentary. Especially because I got like a 10 day break from the movies and I have Wednesday off work.

Titanic is next on the list, which is one of my favorite movies. Probably one of the very few I have actually seen.

I want to do a more general update too. Will see... I think overall less chaos this week. Except for my medical stuff, everything is kind of calm right now. (Knock on wood).

Another Easy Dinner

May 28th, 2017 at 08:09 am

I am finding the recipes from Damn Delicious to be really hit and miss. But I keep trying.

So I was happy that this one turned out so well:

Chow Mein Copycat

Text is http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/02/panda-express-chow-mein-copycat/ and Link is

Apparently it's a Panda Express copy cat. I've never eaten there, so I can't speak to any similarities to Panda Express. But this recipe is definitely a keeper. Will definitely have to double for my family. Maybe triple, for leftovers.

Oh, and I did use sesame oil instead of olive oil (a suggestion that was in the comments).

I will share again my favorite fast/easy recipe from Damn Delicious:

Korean Beef Bowl

Text is http://damndelicious.net/2013/07/07/korean-beef-bowl/ and Link is

I think it's meals like this that help with the habit of eating at home. If we crave something like this, the home cooked version is so much better tasting. If it only takes a few minutes to whip up, it's really easier/faster than going out.

I'd like to add the new chow mein recipe to my "last minute meal" rotation. It will work better if MH doesn't put it in his meal rotation (which is what he did with the Korean beef bowl). Usually the super easy (and more random last minute) stuff is more my territory.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 1st, 2016 at 07:43 pm

Thanks for the great recipes!

Here is mine:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Fold in oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded measuring tablespooonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

The dough freezes well for later. This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies, but the recipe came with the recommendation to bake half and freeze the rest of the dough for later. Or double the recipe and freeze more.

These are pretty much the only cookies I make. I've forgotten all other cookies. These are just too good!

Some Crockpot Recipes

October 31st, 2015 at 08:09 am

I was trying to link a few recipes for Jazzy but I Was having technical difficulties. Will try again in my own blog.

Historically I really like the crockpot365 website, but it looks it has been archived and is a little less user friendly. Still, you can use the index and scan through for interesting recipes. Each recipe had been reviewed:

Text is http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/2007/12/alphabetical-listing-of-recipes.html and Link is

My dh got on some recipe list otherwise - I will ask him about that. Most of these are fairly new recipes we have tried but really liked:

This first one had way too much cheese. I believe we completely cut out the cheddar cheese the second time we made it:

Artichoke Pasta
Text is http://funnyisfamily.com/2013/12/crock-pot-thursday-chicken-artichoke-pasta.html and Link is

This one is a little more work (post crockpot prep) but is worth it!

Chile Colorado Burritos
This link is not working? Copy and paste I guess.

& then some others...

Cashew Chicken
Text is http://12tomatoes.com/slow-cooker-cashew-chicken/ and Link is

Balsamic Chicken
Text is http://damndelicious.net/2015/08/14/slow-cooker-balsamic-chicken/ and Link is

Hobo Dinner
Text is http://www.themagicalslowcooker.com/2015/08/27/hobo-dinner-in-the-slow-cooker/ and Link is


December 14th, 2014 at 05:52 am

Had a GREAT soup for dinner last night!

Sausage & Kale Lentil Stew Recipe

Text is http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sausage---kale-lentil-stew and Link is


This weekend we worked on our Christmas Giving.

Saturday we did a Giving Tree sort. This picture is a small fraction of what was sorted. This charity caters to sick and grieving families. It was the first time we volunteered for the sorting, and it was kind of mind blowing to see all those toys crammed into one building. (Lots of toys and bikes and clothing).

We always take my Christmas bonus ($200) and take $50 each to donate. The kids are both choosing the animal shelter this year. I will probably give $50 to the food bank. (We will do this regardless if I get a bonus or not, but that was just how we started this tradition).

Both kids' classes are doing secret santa with junk food and soda. (After all the endless notes not to send junk to school, don't ask me! I suppose they figured it was cheap and easy, and I appreciate that at least it will be consumables). So we picked those up on the way home from sorting, yesterday.

Dh has been doling out Scholastic gift certificates. Teachers are very happy.



**Last night I cleaned the kids' shower. It goes a lot quicker when you use the good stuff that dh is hoarding in the bathroom, not the 10-year-old expired shower cleaner. LOL. Seriously, that tub and shower hasn't been so sparkling white in years. IT was some no-scrub thing and it actually worked.

Anyway, the reason I did so was that I got a new shower curtain for the kids. When trying to figure out what to do with some Kohls gift certificates and Kohls cash, that was one thing I was looking at. The kids' "froggy" shower curtain was starting to fall apart. I could probably limp it along, but I figured they would probably prefer something a little more grown up, for the long run. So I did end up picking that up this month. The new shower curtain seems rather flimsy, so we will see how long it lasts!

Of course, I still also have the original original shower curtain. It was someone on the blogs who mentioned that you can just wash shower curtains in the regular wash. Yesterday I did a good wash of the extra long shower curtain I have in there. Which was apparently of high quality and has held up very well (& several washings) over the past 13 years or so. It's extra long for the tall shower but it is also just a clear thing. I had put our old (froggy) shower curtain on the outside for aesthetic and some privacy. (Though otherwise it would be too short for that shower, by itself). I suppose I could tell the kids if they break the new one they will just have to live with the clear plastic. Big Grin Will see how it holds up...

**I bought myself a new laptop this week. Last week was just one too many days of "fighting over the computers" in this household.

Kind of impulsive, but I had no idea how cheap they had gotten. We did already buy a laptop this year, but every computer in our house has more advanced gaming and video editing capabilities. My needs were far lesser than that. I think it was last Saturday that I joked that I needed a new laptop. Dh kept an eye out on sales and picked one up Thursday? $288 for another Lenovo. Merry Christmas to me!!

Hoping for more peace in the house.. The computer didn't need much more than internet and spreadsheet capabilities, but dh picked out something that should be fairly future proof. (Faster processors and what ever techie goodness he wanted). I had a few wants with the laptop too, so it wasn't just "the cheapest thing we could find". I can't get over the price!

I will either pull the money from savings in January (a blip) or will pay for it with extra Christmas money. Hoping for extra Christmas money!

I am waiting for a $99 Chase refund and I think my parents owe me $150-ish for Ting. So, I guess there is some of that too. (All money due to me, but the checkbook is already fine for this month, so maybe one reason I am not sweating some bigger purchases this month).

**It's that time of year! San Francisco Comedy Sketchfest. They put on a TON of shows and we try to narrow down given the constraints of money and time.

I think a lot of the smaller stuff was kind of "meh" or either not that exciting or worthwhile for a weeknight trip. My pocketbook is happy with that! Dh is trying to arrange companionship for some of the shows. (Babysitting is a challenge, I don't like all the same weird stuff he does, AND I have an early bed time. I will go if he needs me to, or he will go alone, but it's more fun to go with a companion who can stay awake). Which has led to some conversations in our house about, "What is the point of making a bajillion dollars if you can never DO anything?" UGH!! (Don't get me started... You know, we are just the stupid ones who don't make as much money as we should, live in the middle of nowhere, and never have any fun. That kind of thing...).

So far our plan is to buy $200 show tickets. Hoping to cover with Christmas money. Thrilling Adventure Hour (a tradition for us) and a Newsradio Panel. Will have most the cast. (Oh how we miss Phil Hartman! Frown )

I like how that worked out because we didn't want to go too overboard, and the Newsradio was completely unexpected. But is one of our favorite TV shows. Will see if dh can swing any company for some of the other $20 shows. Or if I will be drug along.