Posted in Around Town, Education, Entertainment

A Lesson in Creativity

Every time you walk out your door there are lessons everywhere.  Today, we went to the Penrod Arts Fair held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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I’ve only been to one other art fair here in Indy and that was the Talbot Street Arts Fair years ago when I first moved here.

I love art. I think artsy fartsy (and I say that with all due respect) people are pretty awesome, with their seemingly laid back ways and flare for the different or turning the mundane into something extraordinary.  Some of the artwork people craft is, to people like me, unimaginable!  Just SO much talent, it’s definitely impressive. I couldn’t do or even attempt what they do. I love to paint and create and write and craft, but I certainly don’t think I could make a living doing it.

We didn’t stay for long as my better half – he goes because I ask him to, but he’s absolutely miserable. You can see it in every line on his face and in ever step he takes. No joke, he’s freakin miserable. But he loves me, he tolerates it and he goes, but he’s not happy about it.  He thinks that people that would spend $600 on a 8×10 painting of the woods needs their head examined.  And I do understand…I really do.  He comes from a midwestern family that worked and worked hard for their money and to spend it on something that’s so frivolous is simply not on his radar at all.

My youngest daughter is very artsy and creative.  She loves to paint and to write and she enjoyed looking at the different booths at the arts fair.  It’s good for her to see what’s out there, but it’s also good for her to hear people’s differing opinions.  I, for one, am more of a realist.  Painting, knitting, pottery, making jewelry, etc. should begin as a hobby, something that you do to fill your time wisely.  But you don’t assume that you can make $600 for one painting and another and another and that will carry you through life.  We talked about making a name for yourself and in this case, knowing people in your craft, “getting your name out there” and having people recognize your style.  All this takes time.  We talked about some people that I’ve found on Instagram that were nobody’s and then because of something someone purchased and loved, their popularity exploded.

It only takes one person to tell another and they’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends and…well, you get the idea.  Becoming an artist takes patience, love, commitment, dedication and determination.  Pretty much the same for everything worth doing in this life…

xoxo

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Posted in Entertainment, Food

Beaten Down

 

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Is it just me or when you too go to look for a can of pineapple, they are ALWAYS dented?  WTH is that???  I don’t think I’ve ever looked for canned pineapple and all the cans were in pristine condition.  It’s like canned pineapple is the red headed step child of the grocery industry.  Wonder what it did in a past life to deserve this less than royal treatment?  Guess they’re just trying to bring it down…

That’s ok Pineapple, I got you.

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Posted in Entertainment, Family, Food, Holidays & Birthday

Pizza Casserole and a Betta Fish

Things are calming down finally after a whirlwind month!  Between starting school, starting another soccer season, working on the house and celebrating a birthday, the calm is greatly welcomed!  The oldest’s birthday was a success, no party just immediate family.  She was given an Xbox One and a betta fish, the two things she asked for specifically.  When she was given the fish, she looked at me and said, “What if I’m just not ready for a fish?”  LOL, uh…too late now.  Luckily it doesn’t have to be fed three times a day and have its diaper changed!  I don’t think she thought that was too funny.

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I baked her cake myself and tried – unsuccessfully – about four times to write happy birthday in pink icing – her favorite color.  I flubbed it each and every time, I finally gave up and just covered it with the candles and called it good!  Nothing fancy, but it sure did taste good!

I made this recipe a few days ago and because everyone like it, it’s making it to the blog!  It was so easy and really super tasty!  The only complaint – too much bread, not enough guts!  But –  it is supposed to be representative of pizza and usually that’s a lot of bread.  We, however, usually order thin crust because we like the toppings!  When I make this again, I’ll double the recipe and only use 1/2 the can of biscuits!  Other than that, it was an easy meal to whip up and the best part – the kids ate the vegetables with very little complaining!

Other items that could be added as well: sausage, black olives, pineapple, ham or whatever else you like on your pizza!

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Pizza Casserole (Weight Watchers Recipe)
original recipe here from food.com

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 t. dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. bell pepper, diced
1/2 c. tomato, diced
16 oz. refrigerated biscuit dough, should be 8 biscuits per can
1 1/4 cup fat free mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350*.  In skillet, brown meat over medium heat, stirring to crumble.  Stir in onion, tomato sauce, basil, garlic and Italian seasoning.  Add veggies.  Add quartered biscuit dough to the pan of sauce and meat; stir gently until biscuits are covered with sauce.  Spray a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.  Dump the mixture into the dish.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes or until biscuits are done.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I have discovered podcasts recently – well, ok, one podcast in particular.  In all the years with an iPhone, until a couple weeks ago, I had never, ever listened to a podcast.  One that initially sounded interesting to me was Sword and Scale.  I’ve always enjoyed reading and watching true crime so this podcast was a perfect fit!  It has really captured my attention.  If you enjoy true crime, I would recommend listening to a couple episodes and try it out!

I’ll be updating soon on the changes in the basement so keep a lookout!

xoxo

Posted in Entertainment, Finance, Food

In Defense of Mondays

I don’t think I’ve ever been one of those people that complained about Mondays, even when I had a job.  Monday always seem like the perfect days to start something…a diet, spring cleaning, trouble, ya know, it always feels like a fresh start to me.  Kinda like New Year’s but better since there’s lots more of them.  This morning though, has felt like anything but a fresh start.  It feels pretty much like the last 3 weeks.  I’m complaining about the same things and not changing them, I still have the same chores on my list and not completing them, another day to just be stagnant.  But, hey – at least I have an ability to complain about it to the www.  Maybe some of you can commiserate.

This morning was like any other until about a hour ago when my oldest daughter flew into the room to ask if I’d take her to school.  I said, no.  She then proceeded to let me know she’d woken up “2 minutes ago”.  My oldest is now a sophomore.  I woke her up at 5:45 a.m. as I usually do.  It’s now my fault she didn’t wake up.  I don’t believe in babying your children.  I believe in loving them and caring for them and being available when they need you, but I think I’m doing a (dis)service by waking them up at all.  They both have alarms.  I need to start making them set them and wake up by them.  Today I need to purchase an air horn.  Forget this responsibility thing laying on my shoulders and me being blamed.  Nah…ain’t doin’ it.

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This weekend we went to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.  I absolutely love, love this store!!  For me, it’s like Christmas every time we go!  The deals are SO good that easily it could become addictive shopping.  Luckily it’s on the other side of town so I’m not too inclined to drive over too often. They have good deals on spices and foods sometimes, lots of processed which I’ve cut down on, but I’ve found Hellman’s Light Mayo there for less than half price of a regular jar!  Deals on toiletries, housewares, kitchenware, pet supplies, you name it, they pretty much have a variation of it.  The draw for me is the same every time.  I go there to buy cookbooks, because I just don’t have enough (insert copious amounts of sarcasm).  Books in general are my weakness, but I’ve slacked off from buying just any ole books.  But cookbooks…those are a different story.  And I don’t really understand my logic, because pretty much any recipe you could or would need, want, think of, etc. is on the internet!  However, that doesn’t seem to matter.  I go to Ollie’s and they have hundreds of cookbooks…just look at this…I behaved myself when I only bought these…

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and look at the prices?!?  How can you say no.  The deal is just too good!

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$16 for what could have potentially been $50!?!?  Yeah, too good to pass up!  After bringing these babies home, last night I made my first recipe from the Fix It and Enjoy It Healthy Cookbook.  Here it is:

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Herb Marinated Steak

1/4 c. chopped onion
2 T. fresh parsley
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. London Broil (I used skirt steak, couldn’t find London Broil)

Combine onion, parsley, vinegar, oil, mustard and garlic in a bowl.  

Place steak in a sturdy plastic bag.  Add onion mixture, spreading it on both sides of the meat.  Close bag securely.

Place filled bag in a long dish in case of any leaks.  Marinate in refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight.  Turn it over at least once while marinating.  

Pour off marinade.  Place steak on rack in broiler pan so meat is about 5″ from heat source.  Broil about 6-8 minutes on each side for rare, 9 minutes on each side for medium.

When finished broiling, allow meat to stand for 10 minutes.  

Then carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices.   

I did grill ours instead of broiling.  It was really good.  Everyone ate well, but did comment that the skirt steak had too much fat, so lesson learned.

Well, I’m going to try to get through the day without too much discourse.

Have a great Monday everyone!

xoxo

Posted in Entertainment, Family, Finance, Food

Houston, I Think We Have a Problem

They say you can’t change an addiction until you acknowledge it.  Well, right here and right now, I’m acknowledging – I have had, in the past, and maybe currently, just a slight addiction, compulsion to – recipes, cookbooks, food, the grocery store, and maybe even to…dare I say it, eating.  Oh and trust me when I say, these aren’t ALL my obsessions, these are just the right now, most obvious, in my face ones.

I’ve been addicted to cigarettes and alcohol and people and spending money and collecting things and organizing and cleaning, some say I have an a addiction to my cell phone <rolls eyes>, but aside from all that, the proof is in the pudding when I tell you about my obsession with all things kitchen, cooking and food related.  I think I may even have an issue with kitchenware, although I do usually draw the line when it comes to say, expensive stuff.  I’m a Corelle kinda girl, but even though I now cook more often (although I see my cooking days being numbered considering the older the better half and I get, the less we are so inclined to eat and in only a few more years the girls will be in college and may or may not be living at home any longer) I just can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on Le Creuset cookware, well maybe a piece or two…but I digress.

These fantastic cookbook magazines that I have been hoarding  collecting for years now are stored in a bin in our basement storage room.  When I moved from my childhood home in 2010, I gave away hundreds of books, magazines and cookbooks.  Boxes and boxes were carted off.  When we moved into this house in 2012, I again went through them and threw out even more (I actually NEVER throw them away, I donate them or sell them.  I believe it’s an abomination to throw away books of any kind!).  I have to admit, it was like pulling teeth, throwing out old friends!  I told my daughters to hand me a cookbook – allow me just a few seconds to thumb through it and then force me to make a decision to keep it or get rid of it.  It worked, I cut the pile down substantially.  But, lo and behold, I still have a bunch.  For the last 4 years, they’ve been stashed in that bin on a shelf collecting dust.  I have added to the bin a few times, but I haven’t even looked inside once to find a recipe!  I wonder what the point is to keeping these if I NEVER use them?  I haven’t quite figured that one out…

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I pulled the bin out this past weekend, but felt so crummy I decided to do something that I could do sitting down instead.  This morning with everyone gone to work and school, I decided to go through them.  Wow – my mind is spinning!  I want to read and make every recipe…NOW.  LOL

Just the other day, when I was starting to feel like I was coming down with this cold, I told my girls we were having grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken soup for dinner.  They immediately came back with,”you have ALL those cookbooks downstairs and we’re having grilled cheese sandwiches and soup again?!”  Grrrrr…  So in the spirit of actually using what I have collected and stored over the years, I’m going to choose three or four books per week and make a few recipes out of each one and post them here, if they’re worthy.  Nowadays most of my recipes come from the Internet, but my guess is, most came from books just like these.  I purchased most of these recipes fair & square so I might as well benefit somehow from them – right?!?  LOL  Oh, if I had a dollar…….

Here’s what I’ll be working with this week…

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I’ll also plug the recipes into myfitnesspal to see the nutrition info and post it along with the recipe.  This should help with my so called “dieting” I’m supposed to be doing!  I’ve been to the grocery store already so some recipes I may have to wing, but I’ll do my best to keep them the same.

In organizing these this a.m., I found an extra…if you’re interested, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you.

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Posted in Education, Entertainment, Self

Under the Weather

I so detest not being up and running.  And even if I’m not feeling my best usually I just fake it.  Pull myself together and get out there and make it happen, cuz really, who else is gonna empty these laundry baskets or cook dinner?  Since Thursday, when I developed a seemingly innocuous headache, I have had a cold.  It started out as a horrible sore throat (as my oldest whom so graciously passed it on to me said, it’s like swallowing razor blades) and sneezing to settling in the chest and a cough.  This morning Day #3, its basically a cough and a wheezy chest.  I’m in that zone of, OK this was fun, let’s do something else now.

The kids told me yesterday that I sounded better, then when I offered to make them milkshakes, the youngest said, “wow, you MUST be feeling better!”.  Well, not so much but ya know, Mom’s must do what Mom’s must do.  I can only hack by myself sitting in one spot for so long.  The nice thing is, I’ve indulged in a Netflix marathon of “Pretty Little Liars”, I’ve eaten pretty much what I want with no real thought to weight gain (OK, maybe a little – OK, a lot, so that was a lie), I’ve been through two boxes of old photographs and scanned many of them to share on Facebook – which my family seems to thoroughly enjoy!  And I’ve managed to finish a book, the first one in at least a year!

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‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ written by Rebecca Skloot.  It’s a story about a woman that had cervical cancer back in the 50’s.  Doctors took a sample of tissue from her and the cells never died.  There’s much more to this story dealing with consent, privacy and compensation not to mention the story behind some her family members, I thought it was quite an interesting story.  It’s not a technical, scientific read, so for me, that was a plus.

I also have to admit that although no one can do what I do, my better half comes pretty close.  He has cleaned our mud room, which is where our cats living quarters are, he has vacuumed under our living room furniture, he has been to the store for groceries, and brought dinner so I didn’t have to cook.  Every day he has “made me a place”. He puts the heater in front of the couch, sets up the TV, puts the trash can and tissues next to the couch, he makes sure I have everything I need to be comfortable and then if he’s not in the room with me, he comes and checks on me every 30 minutes or so.  I’ve been married twice and I don’t recall either one of them doing much at all for me when I had a cold…oh well, that was then.  I am just so extremely fortunate to have him.

I hope to be feeling better in the next few days.  Hope everyone else is doing well and anticipating spring as much as I am!

xoxo

Posted in Entertainment, Food, Self

The End of the Line

This is where it ends.  The all you can eat holiday buffet is over and it’s back to reality…thank Heavens.  I’m getting way too old to keep this pace with cooking and eating all this garbage that doubles as food!  Burger King, cream sauces, sugary desserts with every meal, it’s been a ridiculous but delicious couple months, but the holidays are officially over and I need – I must – get back on track.  I won’t reach my goal, but that’s ok.  I’m a work in progress and my goals are my own…

Today the better half and I hit the grocery store, not once but twice simply to buy food to cook in the Go Wise USA air fryer that I was given for Christmas!



Suffice it to say this thing is fairly awesome.  Love the cleanup and the fact there’s not a huge oil spill in the kitchen is just wonderful!!  I made chicken fries, French fries and chicken wings in it today and they all came out perfectly!  Just amazing!!  I haven’t eaten this much fried food in two years!!

I also searched and hunted for a recipe so I could use the leftover vanilla pastry cream and found a recipe for Boston creme doughnuts.  I can’t say I was too thrilled about frying the biscuits, but the creme and the chocolate ganache S. whipped up was to die for!!

Finished almost all of those, which is good because everything that doesn’t fit in my diet plan will be intimate with our garbage can very soon!!

We sat down tonight with our chicken wings and our doughnuts and watched War Room. I really enjoy those movies, they just stir something inside you that make you want to be a better person.  Uplifting to say the least – a little spiritual pick-me-up!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow – another new beginning to be better than I was today.