Low-Carb Taco Casserole

I got this recipe from my friend Linda’s blog- we are in dire need of shaping up for the spring and this seems like a good place to start.
Enjoy!

While most households were gobbling up lots of carb-laden snacks and appetizers this past Sunday, we watched the Super Bowl while munching on this delightful Low-Carb Taco Casserole.  I used t…

Source: Low-Carb Taco Casserole

Making up for lost time

My girls know Mom is working.


Zush, who is ALWAYS by my side, has been giving me the”…and you’re not going anywhere, right, mom?” look and sticking to me even more than Velcro ever could.

It is weird that once again, I have to reschedule my week. At least with this job I manage to get weekends off,for what that’s worth.After all, laundry and vacumning have got to get sone sometime. But somethings are always the same. I savor the time with my fur girls!  Kasia misses me a little, but as usual, she always waits for Jim to come home.Oh well, one out of two isn’t bad,

Juice of a few Flowers

  
It is a new end for my week-my work week.

I started my new career this week. I am a class aide for autistic boys in kindergarten.It is quite a rewarding job, and although it’s been a while since I dealt  with young boys ,it brings back the memories.

  
It makes me sad the the difference in education is down to dollars. Teachers and aides going to buy things for the classroom with what little money they have.

Anyhow, it’s a new day for me: I can only hope it turns out well for everyone!

Tornado Watch

It hasn’t been that nice a day today weather wise.

Then when I came in and heard that there was a tornado warning for my neck of the woods, I thought “uh-oh” 

 
I could only get the girls ready for the thunder. I have a herbal pill I give them and it helps zone them so they can tolerate the weather. It works pretty good and we’ll probably all have an early night.

Stay safe folks!

Gotcha Day

  
It was fourteen years ago that Zush came into out lives.

I didn’t get to spend the day with the girl as I would have liked to.Granted, the day started with a good walk for the three of us.Unfortunately, Jim and I had to go to Philadelphia for a funeral, but no worries. My friend and “sister” Georgine stopped in a few times to keep the gals company.

  
  
Here she is with Zush. I am so lucky that she loves them and they her.

We got home around 4:30,and in Zush’s honor, we walked to the beach and back.We were blessed with each other’s company,and as we walked along the beach, we were blessed with this.

   
 
A pretty good ending to Zush’s gotcha day!

Escape from Oz

We have to leave our little Shangri-la for a trip back to the big city tomorrow morning. It is going to be traumatic for me because I am leaving my girls at home.

Our old neighbor passed away on the 17th and we are going up for his funeral.Jim was a close buddy with his son who lived with him. If I had my way, I would have just gone up for the viewing and funeral, and then come back. Mike, Jim’s friend,and Jim both said that if we are going all the way up there, we might as well stay for the luncheon.Oh well. It’ll be good to have Jim socialize and be happy.

My “sister” down here, who lives, down the street,is going to come in to let the girls out a few times through the day and give them their medicine at 3:30. I can’t be leaving them in better hands, but still, I will be missing my kids.

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Pancake Breakfast

The Property Owners’s Association runs a pancake breakfast on the third Saturday of the month. 

 
That’s a shot of the guys in the kitchen making up pancakes and sausage.Jim is off on the right, doing the batter.We work the front,We take and deliver the orders ,deliver drinks and just help out.

It’s a nice way to participate in the community, and we have to do this next in May. I’m glad.,,,I have to rest up.

And They Call It Puppy Love….

  
My Zush has a boyfriend, or at least she thinks she does.She calls out hello in dog-ese every time we walk by!

The young man in question, and to me he looks between 3 and 6 years old. We don’t know his name, but he is a brindle coated pibble mastiff mix. I feel bad, as the owners have the collar on him where he gets zapped if he goes out of the yard. Today, as Zush walked away, I saw the poor baby jump a little and whimper for trying to sniff where Zush was. It is so sweet, as they both greet each other when they see each other. Kasia tried to get in on the action, but this guy is the apple of Zush’s eye.

  
  
Nice to have her happy!

S.S.Avocado

I christened my new mixer today.  

I decided to make my traditional vanilla biscotti, as I knew it was a recipe I know like the back of my hand. I had made the Oreo biscotti for Valentine’s Day, and they were ok, but my vanilla recipe is my go to recipe.

It was nice to have a quality appliance to work with, and hopefully, I’ll have as long a relationship with it as I did my prior Kitchen Aid mixer.

New Toys

When my Kitchen Aid hand mixer passed away, I was distraught. After all, I had it since before I was married, and it had done yeoman’s service, but still…I was sad. I decided to opt for a temporary fix, and bought a cheap Proctor-Silex hand mixer. As I said,a temporary fix.

Guess what?

  
Behold my new toy!

Qvc had it on line, complete with mixers, dough hooks,a blender rod and a whisk.The green is my homage to me, as it is my favorite color, and the 70’s, my favorite decade.. Lol. I actually have the instruction guide, which I am going to read from top through bottom, and am looking forward to using it a ton in the future.

Easy Vanilla Fudge

Yes I know.

It’s Lent, and folks have given up a ton of things.

This is such an EASY recipe that it is worth holding on to for when you need something to make as a homemade gift, and it is really good. You can also add other things in it, such as walnuts or other nuts, chocolate chips, ..let your mind take you to what you’d want to try in it.

3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract ( although I tend to be a little heavy with this-stretching it to 2)

1 pinch salt

Grease a 9″ by 5″ pan and set it aside.

In a three quart saucepan, over LOW heat, mix together the confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and salt until you see it is creamy.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan, and then refrigerate until firm.Cut into squares and the store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This is such a good, easy recipe, it is going in my Christmas gifts I make for neighbors next year.

Snow, no,rain

It was Presidents’day holiday today, but we hadn’t really thought about it, since we are out of the city.

This is what we woke up to this morning 

 Since the stock market was closed this morning, Jim accompanied us on our first walk of the day.I have to admit it was a pleasant morning, since Sunday morning’s temperature was around 10 in the same time frame.

  
The bay was very grey, reflecting the coming change in weather.The beach was snow covered, as was the jetty.This isn’t going to last long,as the temperatures are due to go up the next 2 days,accompanied by rain.

  
As you can see, the girls will miss it!

Pins Dropping

There is one thing that the cold gifts you with down here, and that is tranquility with a chaser of beauty.  

As I walked along the beach with the girls,you could see the ice starting to form on the tide line.  

You could even see ice forming on driftwood on the beach.The water was so still and quiet, bringing to mind the comment about Captain Smith of the Titanic, who remarked the Atlantic was like a mill pond, of course, prior to the ice burg.

   
 
Today, however is a different story.The wind chill this morning was painting a different picture of the bay.You might as well call it the ocean. 

 
The white caps could be seen for miles, and that, in itself, was beautiful in itself.

I love my shore!

Quick Mix Oatmeal Crunchies

Next addition to the Valentine’s Day week line-up….this awesome recipe!

Simply Made Kitchen and Crafts

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A couple of months ago, I bought several boxes of instant oatmeal because I had about 10 Quaker Oatmeal coupons that I was able to stack with a great sale price, making the oatmeal nearly free! However, after using a few of the flavored oatmeal packets, my family agreed that we prefer my Hearty Crock Pot Oatmeal much better than the instant packets. Knowing that I would have to figure out a way to use up all the leftover boxes, I scoured the Internet for some recipe ideas. After experimenting with various ingredients and playing with quantities, I came up with my own recipe for Quick Mix Oatmeal Crunchies. These flavorful cookies are a snap to throw together and we absolutely love them for lunchbox treats and afternoon snacks.

Quick Mix Oatmeal Crunchies

6 packets of flavored instant oatmeal, any variety you prefer (I use a mixture of cinnamon, raisin…

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And on the Valentine’s Week Countdown…

P is for Pot Roast.

It’s 27 degrees and feels like 14.Sure you have some love to keep you warm, but my Mom’s love used to be Pot Roast.

Cooking it slow in the crock pot with beef base stock, and my secret is I throw a can of Progresso French Onion soup in, along with peeled and diced potatoes, organic carrots, red onion ,sweet red pepper and mushrooms.

  
It warms the house nicely,and we’ll have a tasty meal or 2 from it. It really is love in a hug.

Valentine’s Week Part Deux

  
So here is a photo of the Oreo biscotti recipe that I posted in yesterday’s post. I had used regular Oreos, not double stuffed, not funky flavored, just plain regular Oreos.

In comparison to my go to recipe for vanilla biscotti, these came out good. My issue is I like vanilla. My other problem is I don’t go nuts over Oreos, so I had figured the chocolate would have been a nice touch for Valentine’s Day.

If you like Oreos, these are good. Will I make them again?Perhaps if someone asks for them. When I would do this again, I might put a hint of cinnamon or something in to give a little kick.

 
So here is the end result. Between us and neighbors, they’ll be gone soon.

Valentine’s Week

We’re at the point of our relationship that I am not looking for anything for Valentines’day,nor am I expecting anything on that day, but there is nothing wrong with sharing the love with my neighbors.

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What can be more loving than an Oreo Biscotti? Oven 350 degrees-yields 28 cookies

Here’s the recipe:
1 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
16 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
2 ounces semisweet chocolate or 2 ounces white chocolate, melted

Beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until blended.
Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
Fold in chopped cookies.
Divide mixture in half.
With floured hands, shape each half into a 9×3-inch loaf on a lightly greased large baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean.
Remove from oven; cool for 10 minutes.
Cut each loaf diagonally into 15 (1/2-inch thick) slices.
Place slices, cut side up, on same baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes more on each side or until lightly toasted.

Drizzle the tops with melted chocolate.Myself? Nah, I’ll take them straight, with a coffee chaser!

Enjoy and share the love!

Check-Up!

Zush and I went to the vet with Jim and Kasia today.

Zush was diagnosed with lyme disease back in October.The vet had given us a prescription for the antibiotic she needed, and thankfully, with my buddy Ryan’s help, he got them for us so we were able to get her started.It was not fun.It was a job to think of ways for me to get the pill into her.Hopefully now, we have this under control and, as usual, I just have to keep my eye on her.

We take Kasia with is to the vet to get her used to coming in.It’s not too much fun, because she gets terrified. The staff suggested we get her used to coming in so when she actually has an appointment for her,well, hopefully it will go a little smoother than before.

Thanks,God! Signing off tonight with a sigh of relief.

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Nerves of the Super Bowl?

When I get nervous watching the game, I get my coat on and take the girls out for a walk.

Depending on how the game is going, it may be a short walk or a LONG walk….

We spent the afternoon with the kitten bowl on the Hallmark channel, followed by the Puppy bowl on Animal Planet. Zush and I are still under the weather a little, so we laid low today, while Jim and Zush went down to Higbee Beach with Kasia.

We are really not that big on the halftime entertainment, so we’ll be getting ourselves together to take one for the team around the block.It is a little surreal, as I had a piece of pizza and 1/2 and some ginger ale.Normally there is more of a Super Bowl vibe going on here.Hopefully, the night will go well for me and my buddy.She has a checkup with the vet tomorrow, and hopefully I will get through my bug soon enough…

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Pre-Game Jitters

Well, thanks to me still being somewhat under the weather, it looks like we’ll be watching the big game tomorrow here at home.

In a way, that’ll not be a bad thing, as it seems that being close to my bathroom and being able to lay down when needed is an excellent idea.The girls and I will hobble along as needed, so the excitement for the big 50th game will be enjoyed from the sidelines.

I have some classic nibbles on hand for the game, and unfortunately, I think hot tea or ginger ale might be my beverage du jour.I have a chip and dip mix that I bought from Penzey’s Spice house, which is now available on line, so some veggies, Ritz “everything” crackers’ and some chips might be on the board for that.

If you are going out to see the game and are driving, please designate a driver.I need to have every reader I can hold on to…seriously, you are worth more than a super bowl party.

By the way, I leave this post with only one wish.

“Chicken parm you taste so good.”

Pop Pop, Fizz fizz….

If you remember the Alka Seltzer jingle, you’ll know the ad was the Alka Seltzer cold formula.

I have never taken it, although right now, I can probably pass for a tuberculosis patient with this hack I have.I have had a river of hot soup and a ton of expectorant, and yet the hits just keep on coming.

So I will be taking a hot shower tonight and trying to get some of this congestion out of me so I can try to get back to normal. I haven’t been walking past 10,000 much because I just, quite frankly, feel like crap.I am to the point where I’d give all the money I have for 5 straight hours of sleep.After all I want to be up and together for the super bowl. I am sure that this is just a payback for the beautiful weather earlier this week.

Take care, everyone, and I will chat with you tomorrow.

Snow again

We woke up this morning to snow again, but due to the proximity to the bay,our snow seldom stays around . 

 
So by 10 pretty much what you’ve seen in this picture is gone.The one thing hanging in is the wind and the cold. The girls and I are layered up and still the wind whoops at us and blows my hat off.

The answer for that?

Wonton soup for lunch!

We have a ton of soup and our go to in this type of  is wonton.Soup is definitely something that helps us laugh at the weather!

Now that we are all sated from our warm lunch, next on the agenda? A nap!

Last Person Leaving Delaware Bay…

you better hurry….

I had to laugh when I was working the ferry, the amount of “snowbirds” who made reservations to drive to Florida as early as September. Well,now it seems as those who missed the boat are getting on the planes to Las Vegas and Florida and other warm spots.

I am sure it is quite nice to be able to do this, but when you LIVE somewhere, and are HAPPY somewhere, why would you want to be somewhere else.Don’t get me wrong. I am an advocate behind vacations and will take one again some day,It’s hard to encompass the “thought”of vacation, when you live at a spot like this…..
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and I am sure Key West has some fabulous sunsets, but hey….
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So if you are looking for me, well, here I am.

Yup, I am a senior citizen…..

I really couldn’t believe it.

I don’t know how I happened to see this, but today, in Walgreens, was “Senior Tuesday”.If you were 55 or older, and show you AARP card with your Walgreen’s card, you had 20% off all regularly priced merchandise.It was displayed on the bottom of their circular, so I am not sure if it something they do once a month or every Tuesday.

I also was wondering if maybe it was a South Jersey thing, but I will be trying to stay on top of this for my city and retired friends.

Stay tuned.

Smelling the Roses

I am listening to an Alton Brown Podcast with Jet Tila, and Jet just asked him if he stops to smell the roses.

The idea was “being in the moment”, and it made me stop and think about my current life. In a way, my time here with the girls is a blessing, as I get to be with them and meditate while I have them out. I look up at the sky and take in the clouds and the different patterns, I go down to the bay and take in the coastline.

Maybe it’s my cancers that have made me cognizant of it, but I do try to be in the moment every day.

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Family Affair

We went out as a family today, for a walk on the beach at the Cove in Cape May.

The fur girls are only allowed on the beach off-season, so we really like to try to take advantage of that when the weather is decent. Decent was an understatement today: the last day of January had us at 50 degrees.

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Kasia walked with me, and Jim had the Zush on her leash.We went from almost the end of the Cove at Cape May beach and walked up beach toward the Convention Hall at Cape May. I think Zush heard us say we were going to try for the Hall, and she let us know it was time to turn back.We couldn’t believe that all the rock jetties and pilings that we normally would see between the beaches literally have disappeared.We don’t know if it was beach replenishment or last weeks’ Nor’Easter, but it really was reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia. There was a lot of sand as far as the eye could see.

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We came across a lot of shells that we brought back home and both girls,especially Zush, were beat.

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I think it’s safe to say we’ll all sleep well tonight.