Kitchen Survival, Part 2

My how time flies.  I made Tuesday’s First Week  menu last week and have already eaten it.  How did things turn out?  Pretty darned terrific.

TUESDAY – First Week – TUESDAY – First Week – TUESD

I’m still working from memory since this is also among the 42 missing pages.  Nonetheless, the menu for “today” is:

  • Broiled Chuck Steak Superstar
  • Baked Potato
  • Tomatoes with Mayonnaise
The Weight Watcher's Complete Cookbook is one of my go-to cookbooks.
One of my go-to cookbooks!

Broiled Chuck Steak:  The recipe was to broil a steak, and taught how to season it.  The substitution was a no-brainer.  The New Weight Watcher’s Complete Cookbook (c. 1998) has a recipe for Grilled T-Bone Steak that I’ve made a few times and love.  It’s grilled rather than broiled, which is better for hot weather since it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.  (Yes, it’s October.  Heating the kitchen shouldn’t be a concern, but it’s 90 stinkin’ degrees today!)  I bought a 1 pound bone-in steak (maybe rib eye?).  Because of the bone, I got only three servings out of it, but each was delicious.

Baked Potato:  Duh!  I could have cooked it in the microwave, but I do like a nice baked potato, so into the oven it went.  I think potatoes get a bad rap, what with all the carbohydrate paranoia.  Their glycemic index may be high, but they do provide some benefits.   For portion control, I eat 1/2 (russet) potato per serving, since the darned things are so large.

This version of Insalata Caprese is from In
Insalata Caprese:  Two little slices of heaven. [Credit: Al Cirillo, In]
Tomatoes with Mayonnaise:  I substituted Greek Tomatoes from Weight Watchers’ Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes cookbook (summer 2009).  It’s similar to Insalata Caprese, which I fell in love with when I lived in Italy, but uses feta cheese instead of mozzarella di bufala.

A word about the New Weight Watcher’s Complete Cookbook

I love this cookbook!  Not only does it provide great recipes, basic and otherwise, it also gives food preparation principles.  I’ve had many  Weight Watcher’s cookbooks over the years, but I consider this the granddaddy of them all.  Perhaps I love it so much because my version is hard-sided with rings, having bought it in 1998.  It reminds me of those cookbooks we grew up with and taught us how to cook.  You know, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, the Joy of Cooking, or the Better Homes and Gardens one.

Kitchen Survival, Part 1 (of 24)

My cover of "the Campus Survival Cookbook" is very stained.
My beloved Campus Survival Cookbook, stains and all

It’s a good thing I know the beginning of The Campus Survival Cookbook so well because the first 42 pages are missing.  When scanning the cover, I brought only the cover and its attached pages to the computer.  They’re around here somewhere, but it’s not essential I find them—yet.

The initial pages talk about stocking your kitchen, the importance of breakfast, and where cuts of meat come from.  Only then does it get into the recipes.  So even though it’s 42 pages, I’m missing only the first two and one-half recipes.  (The one-half will be explained at a later date.)

The week’s start with Monday, and Monday is always chicken.  So here is the menu for:

MONDAY – First Week – MONDAY – First Week – MONDAY –

(That’s how it appears, more or less, in the book.)

Continue reading “Kitchen Survival, Part 1 (of 24)”

Adventures in Cooking

My sister-in-law Margie posed with her childern Ted, Rich, and Kristen before her untimely death.
Margie (top right) and her three wonderful kids, c. 1990.

My sister-in-law, Marjorie Forsythe Overholt (not to be confused with my mother, Marjorie Carter Overholt), was a terrific cook.  She claimed, however, all one needed was to follow the recipe.  I’m sure she was being overly modest; lots of people follow recipes without great success. (raises hand)

Margie had the most amazingly organized brain.  Being a math major and high school math teacher probably had something to do with it (or vice versa).  Once I opened a cupboard door in her kitchen to find a hand-printed calendar of evening meals planned out for the month.

My nephew Ted (top left) wasn’t quite so impressed, though.  He said she may have been a good cook, but they had the same thing again and again.  That may be true, but that’s how the majority of us live.  We have 20 or so recipes we use in a somewhat cyclical fashion.

For example, growing up, our Sunday dinner alternated between pot roast and fried chicken.  Then there were the standard meals in between.  The ones I remember most fondly are pork chops with rice and onions (possibly my favorite—besides my mother’s pigs in blankets 😉 ) and liver and onions (probably because I liked it, whereas my dad and brother did not).

Continue reading “Adventures in Cooking”

Summer’s End

A Sunday Seven Post

[I can no longer write a post unless it’s in list form. I attribute this affliction to writing only Sunday Sevens for the past month.  I started a post earlier this week, but couldn’t seem to finish it.  Since I have nothing else planned for today, here it is in list form.]

It’s official.  Summer is over. I know this not because Labor Day has come and gone, not because school is in session once again, not because September hails the start of meteorological autumnNope.  I know this because I can’t breathe.


Continue reading “Summer’s End”

Sunday Seven Shopping

NaBloPoMo's theme for June 2013 is "Roots."It’s the last day of NaBloPoMo June 2013.  I made it!  ~⚛throws confetti⚛~  It’s also Sunday, and that means another Sunday Seven.

After my successful 4 week shopping embargo, I realized I hadn’t bought myself anything for my birthday.  So I lifted the embargo.  (Wouldn’t you, too, for a birthday?)  Here’s what I bought electronically.

Seven Birthday Gifts
(from me to me)

I’ve posted pictures on Pinterest and Springpad.  (I’m not sure if it was less work than posting them here, or more.)

  1. A pair of slide sandals from Zappos.  I live in slide-on shoes—sandals in the summer, clogs in the winter.
  2. A New Yorker artwork beach towel from QVC., as homage to a beach towel I received for my birthday years ago.  It was a sailboat with red sails at sunset.  I loved it!  It’s worn and threadbare, but I don’t have the heart to throw it out.  This new towel has lots of sentimental value, too, because my favorite uncle gave me a subscription to the New Yorker magazine from many years.
  3. A “painter stripe” tunic t-shirt from QVC.  Because you can never have too many t-shirts (in retirement).  Plus, it matches a turquoise pair of shorts I have.
  4. Two pairs of Bermuda shorts from QVC, one in dark denim, and one white.  But they’re too big, even though I ordered a size smaller than usual.  So they’re going back.  😦  (I’m sure I’ll find something to replace them.  😉 )
  5. A Randy Jackson timepiece (watch) from HSN.  He has some beautiful watches, and I’ve been wanting one with a white watch strap for a couple years.  And it was on sale.
  6. Those moonstone & amethyst Nicky Butler earrings I longed for at the beginning of my embargo.  They were still in my HSN “cart” when I ordered the watch.  It was meant to be:  moonstone is my birthstone, and amethyst is my mother’s.
  7. A summer weight cotton blanket and throw from HSN.  (Check the second picture for colors.)  The throw is for when I nap on the sofa (my acrylic “fluffy” being way too warm), and the blanket will be cooler than the quilt currently on the bed.

The Self-Imposed Shopping Embargo

One week down…

So, how am I doing with my 4-week shopping embargo?  Perhpas I should have clarified the shopping ban applies to electronic retail only; i.e., shopping channel and internet shopping.  Therefore, if the UPS man* or mailman* doesn’t deliver it, it’s fair game.  Because, if I’m willing to go out and buy it myself, it’s something I’ve thought about—and therefore not a spontaneous purchase.

* Asterisk explained:

I realize “UPS man” and “mailman” are not politically correct, but in my case, both delivery people are male.  So “man” is acceptable here.

Now that that’s been clarified, how are things going?  Well, I have been tempted, but have also been able to resist.

The new style of portable air conditioners can be rooled from room to room.
Air conditioning, now available with wheels

Temptation #1 was a portable air-conditioner, in the form of HSN’s “Today’s Special” on Memorial Day.  I’ve actually been looking at these “rolling” a/c’s  because our condo complex’s a/c cannnot be turned on until May, and we nearly always have a heat wave in April.  In fact, I have the pictured rolling a/c in my QVC “wish list.”  The HSN model appeared to be a reliable brand with a discount shipping cost.  I was able to resist because the a/c has been turned on, and my unit has been serviced.  So everything’s good to go for the coming months.

These earrings combine moonstone (my birhtstone) with amethyst (my mother's birthstone).
Oh Nicky, how you tempt me!

Temptation #2 came from my favorite jewelry designer, Nicky Butler on HSN.  He had yesterday’s “Today’s Special,”  which rarely happens because his jewelry is hand-made.  I was able to resist the “TS” ring, but he had a couple pairs of earrings I really liked on sale.   Fortunately, I’ve watched shopping TV long enough to realize there will always be something I like on sale.  Heck, maybe the items will be discounted even more in the future.  (However,  I did file away these earrings, just in case they’re still around when my shopping embargo is lifted.)

Temptation #3:  a pair of Birkenstock sandals.  I love slip-in sandals with great arch support.  My current Birks are wearing out, but I think I can hold off until next summer.  Hopefully.

… three to go.

[Photos from HSN and QVC]

Well, that didn’t take long.

One of the blogs I’m incorporating here is Ms. Pack Brat.  I started it to chronicle my attempts to clean up and declutter my home.  I’m not a hoarder, per se.  It’s more that I’m too lazy to get rid of what I don’t need or use.  (There’s an element of physical labor involved, as I live on the top floor of a walk-up condo and some things are too big or heavy for me to lift and carry.)

Multiply that with being a shopping channel junkie.  I watch them for entertainment, but then I’ll see something that will (supposedly) make my life easier and more organized.  I end up with too much stuff, and a load of cardboard boxes.

When the cleaners come, they have to work around a lot of junk I haven’t removed.  This week was a little worse than usual as I’ve been on a buying jag lately:  new printer, new phones (cell and land line), new Nook, new wine glasses, clothes, yadda yadda.  So, when the cleaners left, I vowed not to buy anything (except grocery and drug related items) for four weeks.

It took less than 2 hours for temptation to strike, in the form of blue, bejeweled, adorable sandals.  Here’s the thing(s):  I have a narrow foot, which these do not come in.  And, I don’t even like thongs.  Yet, I seriously wanted to buy them.  Just because they’re so darned cute.  And on sale.

I was tempted to buy a pair of blue, bejeweled sandals that don't even fit.
Blue Thong Shoe. Sounds a song, right?

P.S.  I didn’t buy them.  🙂