Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slip Sliding Away

I wrote the potato post Monday afternoon for a scheduled post Tuesday morning. I'm trying to stay ahead of things and have some topics to write about when nothing comes to mind based on the stuff of life. Good thing too as Monday night was a bad one. Not much of a day off work as DD2 first had to meet classmates for a project, so I drove her out and back five miles out of town. She also had a spring play meeting as practices start in just a few weeks. She has the part of young Cosette in Les Mis.Then it was home to help her get her hair and make up done for formal choir pictures. There was talk about an ice storm all day, and the kids were told they would hear by 3:00 if pictures were cancelled.  Well, by 5:30 or so, no word of cancellation, so we left the house.  

Whoosh-first she went down landing on her butt on the sidewalk. I was so worried about her, I didn't pay attention to my own feet, and whoosh, down I went, landing sideways on the worse of my two knee's, my elbow, and left shoulder. We got each other up, she claims to have been perfectly fine. I was bumped up, but nothing seemed too horrible. Off we went, only to realize we left the order form and payment at home. I dropped her off to turn around and get the form. Of course, the school is on the opposite end of town, so this was a 30 minute slippery trip. She was out waiting for me. Apparently they sent a text and e-mail at 5:55 cancelling pictures due to the dangerous weather. Now, we have to do the whole prep again this afternoon.

She was supposed to have orchestra pictures yesterday morning, but schools were delayed two hours to allow for de-icing the roads, a rarity in our part of the country. Pictures were postponed. I was moving slow, and could hardly move my arm Tuesday morning.  I decided to work from home so I could keep my knee elevated, and my elbow and shoulder iced. Ironic. Heavily aided with ibuprofen, I am feeling loads better, and managed a fairly productive day. I've mentioned I get very busy during the legislative session, and questions were hopping today, so I was feeding intelligence to the powers that be, on top of what I had on my plate already. Not driving saved me a couple hours drive time. I still am sick of winter, but I'd rather have snow than ice. Keep safe out there. I'm looking forward to spring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Po-tay-toe, Po-tot-oh What to do with them all?

I still have almost 1/2 a bag of a 10 pounder of potatoes bought right before Christmas. While I have kept them in a dark place, I fear they need to be eaten this week or they will soon be bound for the garbage can, and that is just not the direction I want to go and as yo can see, some are already sprouting. Potatoes of some sort will be my choice of side dish this week. Please add your ideas in the comments below. 

Helen Soup, known to most as Potato Cheddar, is a family favorite, first made in 1993 when an older colleague, Helen, shared her evening meal recipe. A particularly cold and wet fall, and a new job that added 15 minutes to my commute, with a traveling DH, and a 2 and 4 year old at home, meant my hands were full. Inexpensive, hearty, and easy was the dinner game plan. This soup is easy, with four cups diced carrots, four cups diced potatoes, cooked in 8 cups water with 8 stock cubes and 2 tsp of pepper. Remove half the soup to puree with a blender or hand mixer, pour back in, and add 1 cup shredded or cubed cheddar cheese. I still have cheddar from my Christmas shop, and a buy one get one on 2 pound bags carrots yielded a bounty there as well.

Parmesan Potatoes-Dice 4-6 medium size potatoes. Toss with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. When coated, toss in a mixture of  1-2 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of salt, 1-2 tsp of Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, watching until they get crispy, and turning at least one time. 

Home Fried Potatoes are so good, my mouth waters thinking of these and a great use of leftover baked potatoes. I'm intentionally creating leftovers by baking up a bunch in my microwave. For a medium potato, dice 1/4 medium onion and fry in a tsp of butter, for a good onion to potato ration. I seem to have four leftover potatoes a lot, so usually 1 onion, 4 tsp of butter, cooked until the onion is translucent.  Add the cold, diced baked potatoes, and cook on low to heat the potatoes through. Turn up heat to get a good fry; turn gently to fry the other side, add salt and pepper to taste. 

Good old mashed- with a tsp of butter, roughly 1/2 ounce of cream cheese, and a1/2 ounce of sour cream (or plain yogurt), whipped in per potato. A five pound bag of potatoes for a holiday will have at least a stick of butter, a package of cream cheese, and a 8 ounce tub of sour cream. This method works great for reheating, or keeping warm in a crock pot. Not low cal, but a small portion does the job. Alternatively, I'll whip with just skim milk at times.

Potato Patties were a favorite as a child if we had an abundance of leftover mashed, and were getting sick of them that way. My mom would crack an egg in the potatoes, add salt, pepper, then form in a patty shape and fry on both sides in a little butter. When I do this, naturally as I do to most of my cooking, I add a ton of garlic and Italian seasoning, and if I have any cheese remnants, I'll throw that in as well. 

We'll be eating a lot of chicken this week, along with hamburgers, Sloppy Joe's, and eggs. Carrots will be the vegetable of choice due to the sale mentioned above. some of these potato sides can be frozen, like the patties and even the mashed potatoes for next week if we get tried of them. The humble, yet versatile potato.  What's your favorite way to serve? 

Monday, January 16, 2017

End the Emoji

I get it. Twitter and such have a character limitations. Adding a quick caption is even quicker on Instagram using one. A light filled status update or reply on any social media may make using one appropriate. Let's stop there, shall we. I'm talking about the emoji, the cute little character to use in place of punctuation and they have run amuck.

It's annoying to get personal emails with the little signs, but I even get work emails at work with yellow faces proclaiming the importance of the message with a wow face. If it was generational, I might not have so much bother, but people my age have gotten on the emoji wagon.

Now for Pete's sake they are options to pick as new pieces in the Monopoly game! Something created for speed and grammar laziness is daring to be replacement for my Scottie dog or old race car! No, I'm not going to stand for that without a fight. I used my voting power and voted to keep all the original player pieces.You can vote here for the next Monopoly pieces. You can also vote to keep the original. Please do.

Free clip art by 
The idea behind my post originated from reading Jo Middleton's post At Slummy Single Mummy-Best Monopoly Piece Vote Now Help Save the Boot. When I saw all the Emoji choices for new pieces, I was tipped into annoyance of the cute little icons.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Stupor and Avoiding Clearance Sales

Anyone else get a "hangover" from sleeping too long into the morning, regardless of how late you went to bed? I was up for 22 hours Saturday morning until I finally got to bad last night-this morning at 2:00. I slept until nearly 10:00, not counting the getting up at 6:00 and going back to bed. I feel head achy and in a bit of a stupor, almost hungover but without a drop of alcohol since last Sunday. I slept less than eight hours, but there is something to a regular sun rise wake up that better matches my Arcadian rhythm than sleeping too late into daylight. I'm putzing around getting laundry and some light housework done. I sent DH to the store for some basics we needed, including dish soap and toilet paper. Big mistake, because another $30 of items  magically appeared, and now to make my $200 food target, we can't spend more than $12 the rest of the month on groceries. I'll just watch out for every item, and see how close I can come. It's the challenge to not spend frivolously and without intent that's the point, not to worry about meeting an arbitrary goal. 

His extras were buying two boxes of Triscuits, a pound of bacon, two frozen pizzas, and two bags of navel oranges, which I hope are good. Orange quality seem  hit or miss in January. On the plus side, DD2 did not want to go out for supper either Friday or tonight for her birthday, but instead wanted chow mien and egg rolls at home Friday, and curry tonight. I decided not to count the store bought ingredients as part of groceries for the chow mien dinner, and count towards entertainment, along with the peanut environment free cookies she brought with yesterday for her choir team. Easily we would have spent $50 taking her out to dinner, and spent less than $15, including $4.00 for moose tracks frozen yogurt she picked instead of a birthday cake. 

I am on YouTube, getting caught up on some of the BBC shows I follow, and plan to just have a mix of production and slothiness today. I was going to attend a fund raiser on the completely opposite side of the Twin Cities from me because a friends husbands band is playing, but with this stupor am not feeling like an hour drive each way, and having a quiet day feels better. I'm glad to not leave the house, because the video's on YouTube are ripe with 90% off shopping hauls at CVS, Target, and other shops. I need to buy nothing. I need to bring nothing more into my house, regardless of the 90% reduction. Perhaps once I finish my office redo and have a "haul" closet, I'll be better positioned to play the savings game, but not yet. I'll avoid clearance, despite my after Christmas shop, but utilize finding the low process when it is something my family genuinely needs. That's my Sunday wrap up. I hope yours is full of whatever it is you want.