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Drama

November 25th, 2022 at 05:14 pm

Pre-Thanksgiving was Drama Drama Drama.   But the day ended up very nice and peaceful.

Long story short, hell froze over and MH agreed not to do Thanksgiving with his family.  Of course his mom can't let it go, so it was a lot of drama the days prior.  (I don't think he's ever missed a Thanksgiving.  They have no concept that I have a family too, that MH has his own family, etc.)  I think the worst of it was Wednesday, when I was blissfully out of town.  If I was home, MH would have been venting to me all day.

**Edited to remove my own venting.**

I wish we could have given the Holiday to my parents, but they just aren't up to it at this point.  So we decided to have a peaceful day at home.  Is what all of us wanted more than anything at that point.  But we had sent off MM(19) to his girlfriend's Holiday and they ended up inviting us.  We felt obligated to go.  Most particularly because they had for months planned a summer BBQ that we had to cancel last minute when MH had COVID.  & it turns out that they usually have a bigger Thanksgiving with family but had stayed home due to medical reasons.  So they really appreciated having more mouths to feed.

The girlfriend and the Dad are both really good cooks.  We ate very well.  They seem to be a very relaxed bunch and we really enjoyed meeting them.

I tried a new/simple cookie recipe that was amazing:

https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cookies/butternuts.html

I am looking forward to the peaceful long weekend.  Nothing planned today, though we have some appetizers to eat through (that we had bought for the in law Thanksgiving.)  

This weekend will be college stuff.  Have some financial stuff to go through with MM(19).  & DL(17) is going to be applying to one college.

We toured the local State college a few weeks ago and were all very pleasantly surprised.  It's a really nice campus.  I think we've always been kind of "meh" on the local colleges, being from the Bay Area.  & I mean, they didn't have any accounting programs when we moved here.  I abandoned my Graduate degree with the move.  Lord knows we didn't see the point of studying engineering here (with all the Bay Area schools to compare).  So I booked the tour and MH and DL(17) were kind of, "Why are we here?"  Because I like back up plans for my back up plans, and wanted DL(17) to know what his options are.  We all ended up really liking the campus.  So he may just stay at home his first year of college.

I keep trying to get him to tour my alma mater (which has an amazing accounting program) but DL(17) is really resisting.  He is prickly and I honestly think he would just hate it (it's in the middle of downtown).  But he wants to study accounting and I think he needs to at least set foot there and guage how he feels about it.  If he viscerally hates it, I am totally fine with that.  But it would be nice to know for sure.  (He absolutely could not stand MM's college campus.  If he didn't have such a negative visceral reaction, I'd suggest he just goes to community college down there and room with his brother.  I suppose it is another community college he could look into, but I think the distance is a bit much for him.)

We were out of town Wednesday because we went on a tour of the community college he is interested in.  In the Bay Area.  It was also a beautiful campus.  Both these campuses are woodsy, and he likes that.  

DL(17) has been overly fixated on college costs.  I told him to let it go.  The $8K state college is only $1,500 (annual tuition) after Federal tax credits and State middle class grants.  I told him the difference was negligible (versus community college) and that is why I personally didn't bother with community college.  I can't speak for MH but I expect it was the same for him.  I told him this at the beginning of the State college tour and I think he went into it with a more open mind.  It might cost $1,500 more per year but we can afford it and that $1,500 buys a lot of amenities.  Also, I've said before, if he starts out at State he is more likely to stay there.  So bigger picture I really think it's the most bargain option for his degree.  He's more likely to just start out at home (no extra room/board) *and* he is more likely to just finish his 4-year degree at the very affordable college.  Once he has that momentum going.  

Onion Fritters Recipe

January 26th, 2021 at 02:23 am

Onion Fritter recipe:

https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/side/vegetable/amish-onion-fritters.html

This was the easiest recipe.  So I figured I would share.

MH is really not into anything greasy or deep fried.  In that vein, I just got a small frying pan and covered the bottom of the pan with oil.  With the small pan, wasn't using tons of oil, and was never going to use as much oil as the recipe called for.   

But...  Because it was a small pan, once I filled it with onion/batter, the oil covered half the fritters anyway.  The first few came out absolutely perfect.  My husband commented on maybe turning down the heat or cooking longer on some of the later ones, because they were more doughy.  I told him it was because I was running out of oil and they were less "deep fried".  Which I knew would overall be his preference (doughy) if the alternative was just more oil.  I don't think anyone really cared, there were none left when I was done making them.

 

Instant Pot Recipes?

November 27th, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Mentioned in my last post that we finally pulled the trigger on the Instant Pot.  It just arrived and we did the test run (with some water).  I already found a handful of recipes that we have ingredients on hand for.  Will probably make corn chowder this weekend.

For today, going to do a quick mac & cheese test run.

Wanted to ask if anyone had favorite recipes that they wanted to share?  TIA!

Thai Basil Chicken

July 4th, 2020 at 03:03 pm

Thai Basil Chicken

Text is https://damndelicious.net/2019/01/22/thai-basil-chicken-bowls/ and Link is
https://damndelicious.net/2019/01/22/thai-basil-chicken-bowl...

I have never attempted to make any Thai food before.
O.M.G. So Good!

Traditionally this is a very spicy dish. MH literally only picked up one pepper. ??? I don't know. As I have learned from Indian cooking, just throw in a little extra cayenne, seems the easiest way to spice up these type dishes. We had discussed ahead of time we would obviously need more than one pepper, but he forgot. So I would like to try again with more peppers, and will work on dialing up the spice. But this recipe was flavorful and mild.

P.S. We only used one pound of ground chicken. I am going to have to double this recipe for my household.

Chicken Fajita Sandwiches

July 4th, 2020 at 02:47 pm

Chicken Fajita Subs

Text is https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-fajita-submarine-sandwiches/ and Link is
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-fajita-submarine...

MH worked full-time during May (for the first time in 18 years...). He did all the grocery shopping for us (doing one trip mid-month) but I brainstormed a lot of the meals because I (and the kids) were going to be doing all the cooking.

Mostly, I would pat myself on the back. It seemed *very* overwhelming, but we kept everyone fed and it was easier than I imagined it would be. Especially because this is probably the hardest time of all to keep my boys fed. So... They were happy and fed, and by some miracle I kept them satiated. (I can't take much credit at all. MH has a good system and so we might actually survive if anything ever happens to him).

Then... MH stepped back in and as he keeps making some of our meals I am just, "Duh, why didn't I think of that!?" & he has a weird recipe system anyway, so I am making an effort to print out my favorite recipes for my recipe book. So that I can remember and find said recipes. I feel a million times more prepared if I ever have to take over meal planning again.

This recipe is *so good*. By itself I don't know if it's that exciting, but the mix of the cheese and the mayo and the chicken just makes it amazing.

Butter Chicken Recipe

July 4th, 2020 at 02:18 pm

I realized that I don't think I shared this recipe:

Butter Chicken

Text is https://damndelicious.net/2020/02/18/butter-chicken-meatballs/ and Link is
https://damndelicious.net/2020/02/18/butter-chicken-meatball...

I tried this recipe, and DL (my budding chef) recommended adding 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1 tsp of cumin. It was so close to our favorite Indian cafe's recipe I can't believe it.

I was intrigued by the meatball take on butter chicken, but in the end we abandoned the meatballs and it tasted better with just crumbled meat.

Finding this recipe around the time the quarantine started, is maybe a reason I currently feel somewhat "meh" if we ever eat out again during 2020.

Meatloaf Recipe

May 12th, 2020 at 03:32 pm

Meatloaf recipe:

Text is https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mini-meat-loaves-with-chili-sauce/ and Link is
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mini-meat-loaves-with-ch...

It was easy to find online. Phew!

Brussel Sprouts

February 23rd, 2019 at 12:54 pm

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
https://keviniscooking.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts-balsamic...

Yum!

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 19th, 2018 at 03:29 am

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
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/south-of-the-border-wrap...

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 01:23 pm

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 3rd, 2018 at 02:06 am

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.

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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.

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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
https://damndelicious.net/2014/10/11/one-pot-garlic-parmesan...

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).