I am currently blogging about everything. Jump in where you are and thanks for coming by!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baptism Brunch

I was honored to be asked to be the Godmother to my new baby nephew this month. Today was his baptism and then afterwards we all came together at my Mom's house for a little get together. I made my pal G's awesome bacon potato salad and I made the simplest fruit salad in the world.

1 pt. Strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 green apple, sliced and chopped
1 bunch red grapes, rinsed
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
1/4 pineapple, peeled and chopped
1 key lime, juiced

I mixed all of these fruits together and refrigerated them while we were at church. When we got back I poured them into a pretty serving bowl. Evertything, including the cut apples, stayed crisp and no browning or mushiness.

Good fruit salad simply uses the best available seasonal fruits and some lime or lemon juice to keep things bright and tasty. Enjoy it this summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday's Dinner: stove top citrus chicken, stuffing muffins, green beans, roasted fingerling potatoes

You know, I am tempted to create a Thirsty Thursday segment and feature a different drink every Thursday. Not necessarily an alcoholic drink mind you, but something different and refreshing. Can you tell it is fully Summer here already? My favorite summer drink is an Arnold Palmer, simply take 1/2 freshly brewed iced tea and mix it with 1/2 freshly squeezed lemonade and serve over lots and lots of ice, also delicious with mint garnish! YUM!!!

I bought these multi-colored fingerling potatoes a few weeks ago. God bless potatoes because they are A) super versatile and B) keep forever if you store them in a cool, dark, place away from apples. Anyhow, these were the last of the fingerlings, some bright red, some white and some a deep purple color. I cut them into thirds and drizzled them with olive oil and sea salt and put them on a rimmed baking dish and let them bake for 40 minutes or so while I cleaned the kitchen and got the rest of dinner ready.

To make the stuffing muffins I chopped up 1 carrot, 1 rib of celery, 1 small onion and 2 cloves of garlic and sauteed them in olive oil on the stove top. Then I added most of my leftover chicken broth from last night and let that simmer. Next I took some whole wheat bread and corn bread from the freezer and broke those up into chunks and put them in a medium sized mixing bowl. I then added the hot broth and vegetables to my bread mix and stirred to combine. I packed them into greased full-sized muffin cups and baked them with the potatoes for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time.

Stove top chicken was simply chicken breasts seasoned with adobo seasoning, cooked 7 minutes on each side and deglazing the pan with apple and lemon juice. YUM! So easy.

I took some frozen green beans (I buy bulk organic frozen green beans from Costco) and put them in a covered glass dish with butter and adobo and microwaved them for 5 minutes as the chicken finished.

I also made an onion mushroom sauce for the chicken to use up some leftover mushrooms. I chopped the 'shrooms (about half of an 8 oz package), half of a small onion and sauteed them in olive oil and butter, then I added about a TB of flour to the veggies and stirred and let it all cook for a minute or two. I then added the last of my chicken broth, some salt and pepper, and let it all cook down at a slow boil for several minutes while I was setting the table and plating food. Very nice quick sauce, would have been better with some fresh parsley.

I changed my mind about making pot roast and carrots and onions because I forgot that we are leaving tomorrow for my hometown and I am trying to not create any leftovers since we will be gone until Monday night. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day. I plan on visiting the graves of all my relatives (not just the veterans) since I will be home. I am just Southern enough that visiting their graves feels a bit like just... visiting. I mean you go with your family, you talk, you reminisce and tell funny stories, you bring your loved ones flowers. All in all a nice thing. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and if I make something particularly awesome over the weekend I promise to blog about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weird Wednesday: Peanut Butter and Jelly Soup, Grilled BBQ Chicken Breast, Corn on the Cob

So my weird Wednesday offering this week is a "Peanut Butter and Jelly Soup" -- a savory concoction made with hot pepper jelly garnish, peanut butter, chicken broth, lemon juice, light cream, salt and sherry. I don't have any sherry so I omitted it, but in all other respects I stuck to the recipe. It was creamy (of course) and savory and smooth, but totally the wrong season for it. This soup would make a wonderful first course to any Fall meal, even Thanksgiving! But I am so glad I made it. It is going into the keeper file for me.

The chicken breasts I simply placed into a hot pan with olive oil and sprinkled them on both sides with BBQ rub. As they cooked I would occasionally deglaze the pan with some apple juice and then sort of baste them in the pan juices. I cooked them on medium heat until they were just done so they were juicy and yummy.

Easy-peasy corn on the cob recipe, simply shuck and rinse your corn, then wrap them in plastic wrap and microwave them for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the cob. When you grab them with a hot mitt and they "give" a bit under pressure you know they are done.

I also made a simple tossed salad with shredded carrot and torn romaine leaves.

Southern Peanut Butter Soup with Pepper Jelly:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 celery branch, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup light cream
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; add onion and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add flour and mix until well blended. Stir in chicken broth and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, strain broth. Stir the peanut butter, salt and cream into the strained broth until well mixed. Serve hot. Garnish each serving with a teaspoon of chopped peanuts and a dollop of jelly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: meatloaf, rice, steamed asparagus

I came to a realization tonight; we are no longer a 1 pound meatloaf family. In the past when it was just me and the hubby and then when the kids were small I used the same recipe for a meat loaf I always have, 1 pound of meat, plus enough eggs, oatmeal, peppers and onions to make it tasty. This was always a sufficient amount with enough for leftovers the next day, provided I served enough veggies on the side anyhow.

Tonight we wiped out that meatloaf. I guess to insure leftovers I need to make a 2 pound meatloaf. Which means rejiggering my recipe somewhat, but at least it will all still fit in my baking pan. When I make meatloaves I usually make 2-3 at a time and the portion them by weight into foil lined baking pans. I wrap them and freeze them and then pop them out of their baking pans like ice from an ice cube tray so I can use my pans in the mean time for baking bread. When I am ready to make the meatloaves I do one of two things, either pop them back in the pan to defrost in the refrigerator all day (preferred method) or I painstakingly peel every bit of foil from them and defrost them in the microwave and then put them in the pan and bake them.

I also made a package of broccoli cheese rice/pasta mix. It is sold in bags on the rice and pasta aisle and cooks in 7 minutes, the asparagus I simply snapped the ends, drizzled them with olive oil and salt and and steamed them with a scant amount of water for about 5 minutes. Let's just say my energy level took a big dip today and I wasn't quite ready to shuck and cut off the cob 4-5 ears of corn.

I have been thinking today about families who face the very real danger of food insecurity; people, our friends and neighbors who literally do not know where their next meal is coming from. Every time we say grace at the table I send a silent prayer to the God of my understanding to protect those people. I also donate regularly to the Food Bank in my town and I encourage you to do the same. It is so hard to concentrate in school when you're hungry, it is hard to seek work, it is hard to love one another when you can't remember the last time you had a full meal. Get involved! There are so many wonderful organizations out there.

Feeding America is a great one, I worked with them in High School when they were still known as America's Second Harvest. There are lots of good charities out there. And get your family involved. When you serve a simpler or even vegetarian meal, take the money you've saved from making a more complex meal and plop it in a bowl right in the middle of the table. Explain to the kdis where that money is going. My daughters' religious education classes make regular contributions to the church food pantry. Every week I let them select something THEY like to eat to contribute. It brings it home to them; "Maybe some other little kid will like this cereal!" If you had enough to feed your kids tonight, then please also feed your spirit by making a contribution! Thank you!

“Lord, to those who hunger, give bread. And to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice." -- a Latin American prayer

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pressure Cooker Potato Corn Chowder

Dance class from 4:15 - 5:30, softball practice/game from 5:30 - 7:30; what's a busy Mama to do? Nights like these are why I love my pressure cooker.

This chowder was adapted from a stove top recipe I've made many times.

Pressure Cooker Potato Corn Chowder

Olive Oil
Chopped 1/2 Large onion
Chopped 2 cloves garlic
Chopped 4 large red skin potatoes
Tabasco (to taste)
2 C corn niblets (frozen)
1 qt. container of veggie broth (or chicken)
1 16 oz. container of sour cream
1 Tb of cornstarch dissolved in water

Saute onions and garlic in the bottom of the pressure cooker in olive oil (if not meatless Monday, throw some bacon in there.) Stir and saute till fragrant and then add chopped potatoes (at least 4 cups of spuds). Season the potatoes with salt and pepper or favorite seasoning blend, add veggie broth. Put lid on pressure cooker and cook on high for 5 minutes and then release pressure. When potatoes are done mash some of them slightly with a potato masher to thicken broth, add cornstarch if necessary. Stir in sour cream and frozen corn niblets, allow to warm through but do not boil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, can be topped with shredded cheddar cheese and vegetarian Baco-Bits. I'd serve this soup with a nice salad and some whole wheat bread or biscuits for a complete meal.

Menu for the week of May 23rd

Here's my menu:

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread

Tuesday: Meatloaf, salad, fresh corn off the cob,

Weird Wednesday: Peanut Butter Soup with Hot Pepper Jelly, Grilled chicken breasts, sauteed green beans

Thursday: Pot roast with caramelized onions and roast carrots

Fish Friday: Grilled Citrus fish with Mango Coulis, rice with pine nuts, wilted spinach

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thursday's Dinner: Chili in the Pressure Cooker and Cornbread

My daughter's softball practice/game take up the entirety of our evenings from 5-7, which means I give the kids a good snack before practice, they get a nice snack after the game and then they are ravening little wolves by the time we get home for dinner. I know I need to have food pretty much ready to go when they get back.

I almost made crockpot chili which is a really good busy night recipe, but due to unforseen circumstances with my toddler (total meltdown and nap refusal) I wasn't able to get dinner started until my older daughter got home at 4. Hence breaking out the old pressure cooker.

My particular pressure cooker is a Cuisinart brand, self contained pressure cooker. It does not go on the stove top but is an all in one gadget capable of cooking at high and low pressure, sauteeing, and has a "keep warm setting" that was going to be my salvation.

Pressure Cooker Chili:

1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 C (or more) of chopped onions

1 1/2 chopped bell peppers (any color)

1 C of frozen corn niblets

2 cans of black beans (or equivalent fresh beans)

1 small can of tomato sauce (and equivalent amount of water)

3 TB of chili powder

1 tsp of ground cumin

I coated the bottom of the pressure cooker in 1 Tb of olive oil and turned it on to sautee. I added my chopped onions and peppers and let them get fragrant, then I added my beef and got some quick color on it and broke it up with a wooden spoon, I added the spices and let them all cook for a minute or two. Then I added my tomato sauce, I had frozen some sauce last month so I added it in with an equal amount of water and put the lid on the pressure cooker and turned it all on for 5 minutes under high pressure. When I removed the lid I stirred in the beans and corn and put the lid back on under the "keep warm" setting and left.

When we got home the girls were filthy from the red clay infield so I sent them to the shower while I made a quick pan of corn bread. Some tips for making corn bread (whether from a mix or from scratch) is that you should preheat your oven and pan together. Put some fat in the pan (lard, olive oil, vegetable oil, bacon grease anything but butter really) and place it in the oven as it preheats. When you put your corn bread batter into the pan, having it preheated gives you that nice evenly browned bottom that is the hallmark of good corn bread. When the bread comes out of the oven, take a stick of butter and run it over the surface of the corn bread, then cut and serve! Awesomely delicious!

Weird Wednesday: English Muffin Egg Strata

I love breakfast for dinner, which is weird because I will barely tolerate breakfast for breakfast. I am such a committed morning-phobe that I really can't eat until 10 a.m. or later because even if I am up, moving, feeding the kids, etc. my stomach cannot support the idea of eating until it is almost lunch time. So the only way I really get to enjoy breakfast foods is when we serve them at a normal wake-up time, like 5 p.m.

I miss being a night-owl.

Anyway, when I went to make my normal egg strata I had that sad, Florida realization. The bread had all gone moldy whilst still in the bag! It happens occasionally, you don't even get a chance to eat it because the humidity and heat are such that it makes normal shelf-lives laughable. So I pitched the bread and thought about what to do. My mother in-law makes a wonderful "oven omelet" by beating lots of eggs with milk, salt, pepper, a dash ground mustard and onion and cheese, but I had really set my mind on having a "strata" or layers of bread, veggies and cheese covered in beaten egg and baked.

I decided to use the English Muffins I had just purchased. Here's what I came up with for dinner.

English Muffin Egg Strata:

6 English Muffins
1-2 C shredded cheese
1 C of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 C of chopped onion
8 oz of sliced mushrooms
12 eggs beaten
1/3 C of milk
dash of Tabasco
1 tsp of dried Italian herbs

I greased the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan with butter and set it aside. In a medium bowl I beat the eggs with the milk, salt, pepper, herbs and Tabasco. I cut up the english muffins into small cubes and took half of them and covered the bottom of the pan. I thawed the spinach in the microwave on low, just enough so I could wrap it in a towel and wrong out the excess water. I sauteed the onions and mushrooms in a skillet until the onions were fragrant and mushrooms had released their liquid (which I poured off). I put a good handful of grated mozzarella over the bread cubes and then put on all the vegetables. I topped that with the rest of the bread, then another good handful of shredded cheese, over all I poured the beaten eggs and let them sit for a few minutes and then right before putting them into the 350 degree oven I topped the whole thing with a bit more cheese. I set it in the oven for 20 minutes. Your oven might cook them faster or slower, check for doneness by seeing if the casserole has pulled away from the sides and if it is still slightly jiggly in the center; it will firm up once it is out of the oven and cooling. I served this with bacon strips I cooked in the microwave and wine glasses filled with orange juice.

It was delicious, I also think it would pair well with sliced Canadian bacon, or any of your favorite Omelet fillers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday: Last minute substitution

I made a big mistake last night (what's new?) and I made the entire box of pasta instead of HALF the pasta as I wanted to for the pasta salad. Since I wanted to use the pasta right away I scrapped my plans for a chicken dinner and took the leftover rotini and made a spaghetti sauce. I used 1/2 chopped tomato, 1/2 chopped yellow pepper, 1/2 a chopped onion, 8 oz of sliced baby bella mushrooms, 2 links of turkey Italian sausage, and 1 small can of tomato sauce. I poured it over the lightly reheated pasta and topped it with mozzarella cheese.


To best reheat pasta, never store it with or in any sauce. You can sprinkle it with water and microwave until just steamy, or do what my old bosses at the Italian restaurant used to do, put the pasta in a large strainer or small colander and place the whole thing for just a minute into a pot of boiling water. When done, simply lift the strainer out and it is just like fresh!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Menu for the Week

Here is my menu for the week:

Meatless Monday: Hummus pita sandwiches, pasta salad
Tuesday: Baked chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, seasoned corn, green beans and stuffing muffins
Wild Wednesday: Cheese and Egg Strata, crispy bacon, fresh fruit, orange juice
Thursday: Crockpot chili and cornbread
Fish Friday: Need to order something from my fish guy, maybe grouper!

I need to go start my garbanzo beans cooking and roast some garlic for my hummus tonight. I also need a good pasta salad recipe. I have some whole wheat rotini, carrots, celery, onion, red bell pepper. I just need a good dressing I think. Any ideas? I am going to make the hummus and fill the pitas with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Hope you all have great meals tonight!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A note on the blog title...

Some of you may be wondering why I named my blog, "List Lust Lost". Two reasons actually; 1) I am a huge nerd and I am always amused by words that are one letter off from each other that mean wildly different things. 2) I have list lust, constantly making lists of things to do, books to read, places to go, things to see, foods to try, recipes to make, restaurants to visit... and yet, I am not super organized. I am always playing catch-up and trying to do four things at once; in a word I am lost. So there ya go.

Alternative Titles I Could Have Used

*Sugar Honey, Iced Tea! (It's how I swear around the kids.)
*What We Had For Dinner
*Menu Madness
*Where Did I Put the Thing?
*Mommy Needs a Drink
*Dinner Dash
*My Food Has a Southern Accent
*As God is my witness, I shall never make a pie again!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Soup Tips and Broth Basics

I love to make soup. It is always on my agenda and there are so many great ones out there. Some of my go-to soup meals are the following...

*French Onion Soup with toasted bread and cheese
*Creamy Tomato basil
*Irish Potato Soup
*Italian Wedding Soup
*Chicken and Vegetable Soup
*Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
*Clean Out the Crisper Soup with Beef (recipe coming soon!)
*Beef Stew
*Tortilla Soup
*Creamy Asparagus Soup
*Great Green Soup
*Spinach Soup
*Crab Corn Chowder

To make a really killer veggie broth or add a great base to a chicken, fish or beef broth, start saving the cut off tops and bottoms of carrots, tomatoes, celery, parsnips, asparagus, green onion, fresh herbs, or extra cloves of garlic in a freezer bag. When the 1 gallon size bag is full add it to water with a bay leaf and boil. To get truly amazing color you can add the yellow skins of an onion. For a "zestier" broth you can also add the cut-off tops of bell peppers.

To make the veggie broth into chicken or beef broth simply add a few bones to the proceedings and then you can use it right away or store it in the freezer until you need it. Another tip for flavorful beef or chicken broth is to add whatever dregs of red wine (for beef) or white wine (for chicken) to your pot and feel free to use sea salt, it really helps bring out the other flavors.

Tuesday and Wednesday's meals

Tuesday I made my MIL's famous picadillo recipe. She learned it from her mother, her mother learned it from a recent emigre from Cuba who had settled in Tampa. If you are ever in Tampa, take the electric trolley car over to Ybor City and eat in a Cuban bakery. The bread! The pastries! The cafe con leche! You will love it. Anyhow, this is a unique picadillo to be sure. I have had many kinds over the years, but none like this. MIL always serves it over black beans and rice with a side of vinegar if you like and plenty of diced fresh onions to go on top.


1 pound hamburger beef
1 TB olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 (8) oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t of salt
Raisins (a good handful)
Capers (to taste)
Green salad olives (to taste)

Place olive oil in skillet, brown vegetables, starting with onions and ending with garlic. Brown the meat in the same skillet, pour off any grease. Add olives, raisins and capers and tomato sauce and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then remove lid and let simmer until liquid is much reduced and raisins are plump.

For the rice, prepare white or yellow rice according to package directions.

For the black bean soup, season canned or freshly cooked black beans with sauteed chopped garlic, onion and green pepper and 1 C of red wine. After beans are fully cooked taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.

Scoop the rice into the bowl, then ladle over some black bean soup, then add a small scoop of picadillo over all, garnish as you see fit. Delish!

Wednesday we had a softball game that went from 5 until 7, so we got home and the kids were starving and extremely dirty. I sent them off to the showers while I reheated my meal from the night before but this time stuffed the rice, beans and picadillo into warmed taco shells and topped them with lettuce and fresh tomato salsa, cheese and a dollop of Greek yogurt. (Greek yogurt is my got-to sour cream stand in, try it, you'll like it!) It was wonderful, the beans in particular had gotten more flavorful over night.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Peeps Crispy Treats

Yeah, Peeps, you know the marshmallow and sanding sugar shaped candies that come out at Easter time? My kids got peeped out this Easter, they must have received DOZENS of the things, so I decided to use them up before they all went stale. (Peeps get stale, true facts!)

I took some peeps and melted them in 3 TB of butter over medium heat on the stove, then added 6 cups of crispy rice cereal. I stirred them up and then pressed the molten hot peep-cereal mixture into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Then, I decorated the tops with multi-colored sprinkles, just because, well you know MOAR SPRINKLES! It's a thing.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday, finally.

So, due to illness (kids and hubby's and mine) as well as various volunteering commitments, I did not get a lot of blogging done, but MAN did I cook a lot!

Monday's menu is already on here, Tuesday I made a pot roast with veggies in the pressure cooker, Wednesday I turned that into beef stew, and Thursday Cinco de Mayo I made a Mexican fiesta of epic proportion.

Cinco de Mayo Menu:
Shredded beef
Crockpot Mexican Chicken
Baby Spinach
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Tres leches cake

We made all of that stuff, except the salsa and the tres leches cake. The recipe for shredded beef AKA Mexican Beef Brisket is already on this blog, but I did something a little different this time, I added some seeded and chopped jalapeño and some mojo marinade to the beef and the flavor was GREAT. Serve the brisket wrapped in warm tortillas, with favorite taco fillings. Baby spinach subbed in for lettuce is a tasty way of adding some wonderful flavor and nutrition.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken
Take 4 chicken breasts and season with Adobo, sautee them till they are brown on all sides, place browned breasts in crockpot. Over chicken pour favorite salsa or 1 can of diced Rotel style tomatoes and 1 chopped jalapeño pepper. Stir in 1 tsp cumin and cook all for 6-8 hours on low. When removing the chicken shred with forks and mix with sauce, serve in tortillas or spoon onto hot cooked rice.

Marvelous Margaritas
Tequila (Jose Cuervo, save the Patron for shots)
Triple Sec (or Gran Marnier)
Key lime juice
Simple syrup

Into a pitcher with ice mix 2 C simple syrup, 2 C triple sec, 1 1/2 C tequila, 2 cups fresh lime juice, stir and serve. Delish!

EASIEST Guacamole

Take and mash 2 Haas avocados, mix with a dash of cumin, salt, and several tablespoons of best quality tomato salsa, plus juice of half a lime. Stir and let flavors meld for 20 minutes, serve with chips.

Today was Friday, and after a long night with the baby who had spiked yet another fever and a trip to the doctor's office to discover she has an ear infection I realized I hadn't ordered any fish for today. Hubby came home from work and made a chicken pot pie from scratch with only minimal assistance from me.

Our recipe for chicken pot pie is adapted from Alton Brown's pot pie recipe.

2 chicken breasts
2 cups of frozen mixed veggies
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
2 stalks celery
8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
3 tb flour
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 C milk (or half and half)
1 1/2 C chicken broth
olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
leftover biscuits

Place frozen veggies on a rimmed baking pan and put it in the oven to roast at 350 degrees. Chop onion, garlic, and celery small. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper all over. Cook chicken breasts in olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat. Take chicken breasts out of pot and set aside. Add 1 tb more oil to the pan and saute aromatics and mushrooms together. Heat milk and chicken broth in a 2 C glass measuring cup in microwave. Add flour and curry powder to aromatics and cook together for 1 minute, then stir in the milk mixture, Italian seasoning, the browned veggies, and the chicken. Cook all till nice and thick. We line a deep dish 9" pie pan with heavy duty foil and add in the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then pop it out of the oven and top with leftover biscuits.

This is a great tasting dish, very easy and versatile. Tonight's frozen veggies were a blend of squashes, peppers, carrots. To that we added some frozen corn niblets and frozen green beans. You can use whatever you like, even a simple frozen peas and carrot blend. If you are making fresh biscuits you can top the pot pie with raw biscuits, dollops of Bisquick batter, sheets of phyllo dough (buttered well between sheets) or the puff pastry Alton Brown suggests. Leftover biscuits sliced in half go great over the top as it comes out of the oven. Let them sit there and get steamy soft as the pie cools a bit before serving.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meatless Monday: Hoo Boy

So, let's see. Since I last blogged I have been through my oldest's First Reconciliation and First Communion sacraments, stuffing and hiding hundreds of Easter Eggs, performing as Mary Magdalene's Sister (I decided her name was Barbara Magdalene), dressing 5 little girls as angels, hosting my parents and in-laws in my home for a few days, driving 10 hours round trip for a funeral service and taking care of my youngest who had stomach flu and fever and then thoughtfully gave those things to me. I was so sick yesterday I thought I might never eat again, certainly never cook again and of course abandon all food or food related activities.


Well, I am back today. After 48 hours of living on ginger ale and toast I can say all I was up to for myself was making some mashed potatoes. I boiled some chopped, washed and skin on potatoes in enough salted water to cover them by an inch. I put a lid on the pot to bring them to a boil faster and then uncovered them when they started boiling hard. After letting them boil at high temp for a few minutes I reduced the heat to a low boil until the potatoes were tender but not falling apart. I drained off most of the water and added some butter and Greek yogurt to the hot potatoes as well as about 2 TB of Ranch dressing mix and mashed all with a potato masher. Then I added some milk and blended further with an immersion blender. After tasting the spuds needed a bit more salt and some pepper. I served mine with a bit of crunchy vegetarian Bacos on top and called it a night for myself.

The kids had leftover mac and cheese with apple sauce, cut up carrots and celery sticks and some sliced pear. Hubby had all of that plus some sausage his parents had sent from Virginia.

My husband is unfortunately sick too, so my "menu" for the next few days is just to take it easy with the cooking and let everyone eat anything that appeals and/or will stay down. When you are sick I think it is perfectly permissible to make cans of soup, microwave popcorn, toast or order out even. Eat off paper plates, let the laundry pile up, take extra long showers, do what you can to take care and rest it really is the only way to get well.