Friday, November 30, 2012

Menu Plan November 28 to December 4

Wednesday November 28 

Tilapia fillets with roasted peppers, carrots, onions and mushrooms
Basmati Rice

Thursday November 29

Baked potato with cottage cheese

Friday November 30

Roast chicken 
Mashed potatoes
Peas & Carrots

Saturday December 1

Leftover chicken, potatoes and veg in fry pan
Side salad

Sunday  December 2

Pork Tenderloin with orange whiskey sauce
Roasted mushrooms, pepper, onion and celery

Monday December 3

Shrimp & Rice

Tuesday December 4

Mac & Cheese
Side salad

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Drum roll please.  Today I baked a loaf of gluten free bread that actually tastes good.

Now, you must realize by now, I am not a world class baker when using mixes. For some reason, I just can't handle simplified directions....I am always looking for more detail, a few more complications...basically, I think the simple instructions are a trick.  I know you have to alternate liquid with dry ingredients to get a good cake....and I am expected to just  dump and mix?  I can't believe it  is so simple.  I find myself reading, and rereading because I can not believe there is so little to do!  

ANYWAY, today, I bit the bullet and pulled out a gluten free bread mix. I tossed everything into the mix master, and let 'er rip for two minute, plopped the goo ball into a 'single noodle' sized lasagna dish, and covered with Saran to proof. 45 minutes later, it went into the oven and stayed there for another 40 minutes. At the end of it all, I had a great 'baguette-like' crusty bread!  I will definitely do this again. If I really let my imagination run, I could almost believe it was a yeasty, crusty baguette.  Of course, it is a difficult fantasy to maintain!  That makes two GF mix victories so far...first the muffins, and now the oh my.  I am becoming quite proficient in opening packages, adding eggs, milk and butter! 

Menu Plan November 2 to November 9

Friday: Costco rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes, carrots and peas, home made GF "gravy". Tossed salad.


  • Lunch: Chili with a light sprinkling of cheddar on top , GF toast
  • Supper: Chicken Sandwiches 
  • Baking: GF Baguette

Sunday: Home made GF pizza with pesto, ham, green pepper, onion  and pineapple chunks Side salad of course.
Monday: Salad with a side of avocado toast - drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with pepper flakes, hot chocolate for dessert

Tuesday: Home made soup,  GF oat crackers, cheese and pickles.

Wednesday: Roasted ham (freezer stash from a couple of weeks ago) served with hot mustard sauce, ginger carrots and baked potato - salad

Thursday:  Fridge pickin's

Friday: Dinner out

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As usual....

My menu plan has been corrupted!  I made soup for lunch on Monday, and stir fry veggies and shrimp for supper.  Tonight? I am dealing with a couple of pretty plump chicken breasts. One will do for our supper with a spinach, raspberry, apple pecan tossed salad and one will languish in the refrigerator to be used later on for lunch meat.  

It is quite obvious that I think the whole point of a menu plan is to know generally what you want to eat for the week, then deal with each day as the mood or degrading produce dictates.  I try to follow the plan, but often, the will just isn't there when hunger strikes!  For instance?  We are having a run on raspberries here, and it definitely is not a hardship to shift things around a bit to use them up! I am fond of sweet salads with chicken, and already I am drooling!  

I bought some Almond Breeze to try, and for drinking? Do not care for it. But, since it was in the refrigerator, I made the muffins yesterday, rather than Wednesday.  I even went to the bother of topping them with a little glaze, to make them just a little special. I ended up adding coconut to the basic mix, and  a vanilla icing drizzle seemed to round them out nicely.   Yesterday, I made a small bowl of orange gelatin for supper tonight, so we are living pretty high on the hog indeed!

One by one, the freezer Tupperware containers are being emptied. I am not refilling them, as that will be a task best handled when we return from vacation. Right now, I am thinking of Tequila, copious amounts of guacamole and nice hot beach!

Tomorrow will be busy. The housekeepers arrive at eight thirty, and the roofers will begin work as well. I picked a colour called driftwood, but now, I am a bit aprehensive. Will it be brown? Grey? Whatever. We need to change the lighting fixtures anyway, so it will all work out in the end. It should be done by the end of the week, which will be good for the house but really bad for my checking account!  By the way. Did anyone else notice that cheques are now checks? What a shame. Anyway, we will have to write a doozy when they are done!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Night On The Town

Last night we went to the Forks and had dinner at the Beachcomber Restaurant.  A zillion calories later, I am here to tell the tale.

Being the fussy, hard to please, gluten intolerant person that I am, I found everything to be tasty, and as of this morning? Safe! The bacon wrapped scallops  were a bit disappointing because the bacon was not crispy, but there were two others at the table to help munch through them so they didn't go to waste.

For starters, I had a 'California Dreaming' salad that was amazing. It was loaded with fruit, creamy goat cheese and topped a fabulous dressing.  It was a good thing I wasn't counting calories, because the salad was a meal in itself!  For my main,  I had a baseball steak. Now, for a "little" meat eater, this was quite the feat. I ate the WHOLE THING!  It was served with pomme frites that just rocked! Crispy, crispy, crispy, with the tender beef? Perfect combo. A nice amount of steamed vegetables filled out the plate nicely. When the dessert menu came, since I was about to blow up from sheer fullness, I left the choice to dear husband, and asked for a spoon to "taste" his choice of rice pudding. The waiter actually brought a nice long handled  iced tea spoon to make it easier to steal  his dessert! Now that was impressive. All in all, we were out to the wee hours, arriving home at nine o'clock - barely enough time to put on our PJ's and share a cup of peppermint tea!  Such wild people we are, eh?  It was a lovely night with good friends, and I was very pleased with my dinner!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Menu Plan

Well, I went out and bought groceries...more of  a "fill in" actually. Celery, cucumber, you know, the stuff that needs replacing!  The Fridge Smart containers are doing a wonderful job...everything that I put into them last grocery day is still fresh as a daisy, yet some things I purchased at the same time and did not put in the containers? Mouldy mush! I am well pleased, as already my life became just a little simpler!  

I found a new use for the pickle container.  It holds cruditès perfectly in icy water...makes them crisp and crunchy for easy nibbling.  My dear friend has restarted Weight Watchers on the new plan that allows vegetables and fruit to go uncounted...what a deal that is!  I am tempted to join again, once they have a sale, just to see how the points work out for all the other things. Seems they are a bit higher, but then, the veg and fruits are all such "bargains".  I think it still boils down to calories in, calories out though. I try to keep mine to about 1600 a day and sometimes 1800-1900 on a restaurant day! That sort of corresponds to the "bonus" points you get with Weight Watchers. 

So, the menu for this week is pretty simple.

Tonight? Leftovers for hubby, spinach salad for us both, and snackage for me....lots of crispy veg and ranch dip.  I had ribs yesterday, so I am really not interested in a repeat so soon! They are very good, but quite heavy on the stomach two nights in a row! I now have four of five ribs, since I found a calorie count for lean meat only. I was overcharging myself so much!  All is better now though. A little meat goes a long way with me. I like it, just not a whole bunch of it. I find getting in 3 oz a day to be a real challenge.  Sweets appeal to me once in a blue moon, and even then, I would rather have a simple milk pudding that sugary cakes and cookies.  I do miss a good bran muffin gluten free alternative for that at all!  I used to make a killer muffin, with dates, and raisins, and all things good from the pantry. Now those were muffins! You made a gigantic batch, then baked them up as you needed them.  Ah, those were the days!

Friday:  business dinner out

Saturday:  pork tenderloin with orange marmalade sauce and sweet potatoes, spinach salad

Sunday: chicken, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots

Monday: hamburger day. Yay!  Meatloaf!  I am going to try mini meatloaves and see if they freeze well.  I will have potatoes leftover from Sunday to serve with it, and steamed veggies to fill out the plate.

Tuesday:  Soup day. Time to clean out the refrigerator!

Wednesday:  Housekeepers day. I think I will bake in the afternoon, to fill that new Tupperware container with the tasty goodness of gluten free muffins.  Pasta is an easy thing to make on a baking day, so pasta it is!  It will also incorporate the leftover meatloaf if I make "poor man's macaroni" which means tossing in the odds and sods of everything in the frig and blending it with some  canned of tomatoes.

Tnursday: Leftovers!

Well, I had better get going and put those groceries away. The man will be returning from Toronto shortly!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's me wearing Baby Sleepers!

 No, not quite.  Would you believe dresses that feel like baby sleepers?  I found a velvet, stretchy Susan Graver dress on QVC last year...bought it in black of course. (the picture shows me sporting a scarf that my dear granddaughter picked out for me all by herself! A treasure indeed. )  

After several shopping trips this fall, I could not find two new dresses. So, I simply reordered the same dress in another two different colours! Counting on the fact that they look so different in each colour, I could really care less if I wear the same thing day after day! I love a plain backdrop for all the baubles and bangles I have collected over time. 

One is a chocolate brown...the colour of creamy hot milk chocolate. The other is a deep, rich navy blue. All three colours lend themselves well to accessories that I already own, and all three dresses are cozy, and more importantly, comfy.  Just like baby sleepers!  All occassion, too. They can be dressed up or down, and the fit is loose, but flattering. I think that is because of the stretch fabric, and the silky 'backside' of the fabric that just flows over the body, and hangs so nicely over all the bumps! So, if you are looking for a good comfy dress for all occasions this winter, and are a fan of swing dresses, this might work for you too!  By the way, it packs very well. Not a crease in them after the long trip from the US in a QVC plastic bag!  They also have a future. When they have outgrown me, they will make great lounge dresses.

Speaking of 'outgrowing me', I am presently wearing my new blue jeans purchased on Black Friday of last year. I put them in the closet when we returned home, and frankly never wore any jeans other than my old ones, last summer. After having my pants droop beyond the pale (reader beware of mental images that will not erase) last week, I decided that it was definitely time to break in the new ones...well, in the year's time that has passed, these now are rather large as well. They are supposed to be snug as they have that tummy control feature, but to tell the truth, I need a whip and a chair to tame the entity that resides beneath me....sigh. But it is good news to know that my new jeans are comfy and roomy now too! Next trip, I will have to try on the next size down, for next year!  By the way, the whole world knew I was sporting a smaller size, because I forgot one sticker on the thigh of the jeans. Just discovered it when I returned home and wondered what in  heck was stuck to the back of me!  So, I am proud of sporting the size, though! Everything in life is comparative, and I remember a time when the largest of larges wouldn't fit. Sometimes you are happily forced to acknowledge progress, no matter how slow it may be.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gluten Free Croutons

This is so easy, it hardly even qualifies as a recipe, but for so little effort the gain is amazing!  Usually, I content myself with a piece of toast, cut into squares and sprinkled with garlic powder. For some reason, I decided to try a little harder yesterday, and my, I am so glad I did! The texture is wonderful.
Set the oven to 285º. 

Cut the crusts from four slices of gluten free bread (I used the white  Kinnikinick in the yellow wrapper) and butter lightly. I (being calorie conscious, I only buttered one side, and used about two teaspoons for the four slices of bread. If calories are not an issue, decadently butter both sides!)

Sprinkle with onion and garlic powder, cut into small squares and toss onto a small brownie pan. 

Place in the preheated oven for half an hour, tossing once or twice. Turn off the oven, and forget to take them out for about 18 hours! 
These turned out so crispy and light, that I had trouble not eating them all at once!  The amount I ended up with, filled a small Tupperware modular mate, and I am sure they will last for a week.  What a treat! These are so much better than those tooth breaking versions we are sold at an astronomical price, and are silly enough to buy them because we are desperate for something crunchy with our daily greens.  While I was taking this picture I couldn't resist nibbling on that nice golden brown crouton, and the flavour remains....!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


We went, we shopped, we ATE!!!! Man oh man. It is gluten free heaven down there!

The first day, we went to supper at Applebee's, the second day, we mustered up our "will do" attitude, and attacked Buffalo wild Wings. OH MY GOODNESS!  Rather their goodness!  Gluten free, sticky, crispy goodness. I was bound and determined to finish every scrap, so as to have no regrets.  I ate every single morsel except for one small fry, drowning in the ketchup!  This place has got to serve the best wings ever. Can not say enough good things about the cleanliness, the service or the good value for price. Mmmm Mmmmmmm good!  We ate at one yesterday, and I was unable to have a single bite until this morning at eight thirty.  Not the greatest for the diabetes management, but truthfully, I just could not eat a single thing more yesterday. I often wonder how people pack away restaurant meals like that on a regular basis. Of course, if you live in the same place, you could pack it home and have another two meals after you ate a reasonable portion at the restaurant!  Being three hours from home blew that option out of the park, so I ATE IT ALL and I am not sorry!

Now, the shopping was another matter. It was difficult to spend the 200 dollars that you are allowed duty free for a 24 hour trip. Finally, Bed Bath and Beyond offered up some neat things for both of us, and we were able to return home with a car full of goodies. I bought a few items of clothing suitable for our upcoming trip to orange scarf, a coral shift dress, and yet another black tee shirt type top. BUT in my defense, I did not have a single top with peep holes on the shoulders!  No purses, no shoes, that was it. BUT I did find a neat wall hanging, and some frig Binz products to corral both my eggs and drink cans (notice how there is just enough room to hide the juice boxes behind the drink keeper?) in the Frig.  I love organizers, so it was worth the trip down just for those!  Project ORGANIZE THE REFRIGERATOR is just about done with the addition of these little beauties!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

So many things accomplished today!

Sometimes I just amaze myself, I do, I do!  After the cleaning and laundry marathon this morning, we toddled off to do our errands. Shopping is made so much easier by remembering to take the list!

We both enjoyed our stop at Staples. What is this fascination  with stationery? I could spend hours there. I found a purse sized bright red weekly calendar for 2013. I usually buy a large desk calendar, but found that I rarely used all of that space now that our lives have settled down to a dull roar, and I have often wished I had one at hand in my purse instead! So, this one should fill the bill quite nicely. The bonus is one more thing NOT on my desk, the downside is that there will be one more item in my purse!

We went on to Costco, where hubby had a great time sampling. They even had one gluten free snack that I could taste this time....wild sockeye salmon on a cracker. MMM good.  Will definitely purchase that salmon when our present stock is depleted. I bought far too many nummy things for the weekend. I usually can't buy that huge container of grapes from Costco, because even though I love them, I can't eat a lot of them since they are so high in sugar. But, since the kids were coming why not? .....and wonder of wonders, everything fit into those new containers just perfectly. The only things that aren't containerized are the Brussels sprouts and fancy carrots, that have remained in their own packaging, so they should be quite safe until we eat them up! Using the crisper drawers for condiments and dairy really frees up refrigerator space.  I actually have meat in the meat keeper drawer now.  Will miracles never cease?

Tomorrow we are going to go to Lee Valley to pick up a pair of super oven mitts for Barbeque boy. I find it so easy to buy presents for the girls, but when it comes to my own son? I have no idea what to get for him. So, I finally found a Blue Bombers apron for him, he needed oven mitts as well. I looked at the matching mitts, but they were the type that go up in flames if you use them too close to the heat. Instead, I found gloves that are made of "fireman" fabric, and cover the forearm as well. I think he will like them as they are so practical. So I hope I have a happy baby this weekend!

I am really looking forward to having them back to stay in the house, but this time it is only for a very short time. Sniff. This empty nest just keeps on echoing......

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cleaning Day

How do you clean all of the bathroom cupboards, clean all of the lighting fixtures,  vacuum thoroughly, scrub the bathrooms until they shine and dust the house from top to bottom? GET HELP!!!!

Wednesday is Ladies Day - cleaning ladies that is! I am starting to wonder why I didn't admit to needing help long ago. I must admit I enjoy the extra time I have to focus on detailed cleaning instead of doing the routine chores and tiring out after doing them! Keeping up is simple, and laundry is dealt with easily enough if I keep up with one load a day. Problem is, that you need to gather a load of a specific type in order to do it efficiently, so today is catch up day....all of the "types" are due to be done! It is better for your washer to rest between loads, so if I do one each morning and one each evening it will be better for both of us!  I must admit that there are perks to getting old and feeble!

Tomorrow's plan is to start the winter deep purging  in the master bedroom. I have made a start on the master bathroom, and have a bed full of all that came out of it! I would like to get every speck of dust out of the house, but especially in our bedroom.  Running a couple of Oreck air cleaners has really helped keep the dust at bay, (one up, one down) but it does tend to build up in nooks and crannies.  Of course, that is the plan, but we will see what happens. I have the kitchen deep cleaned, all shelves and drawers, so a quick  wipe down of the fronts  is what it needs. The stove was done last time, and the refrigerator is a work in progress. An army runs on it's stomach, as does a family. Speaking of which, the kids are coming on Thursday evening. I really enjoy having the house full and watching them run! So glad I can sit back and enjoy the granddaughter while my dear d-i-l does all of the work to keep her just so!

Speaking of beds, how often do you change your linens? We try to do it every week, on Friday, but somehow, that has been changed to Wednesday....mainly because I like to feel like all of the chores are all done, leaving me the rest of the week free.  But, as well you know, they really never ever will be! You can always find a bit of schmutz!  But on the surface, it looks good, and going to bed on Wednesday night is always a pleasure, at least with the belief, no matter how temporary,  that the house is all clean at once! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wanna see my refrigerator?

My Tupperware order arrived today! So, needless to say, I spent the remainder of the day sorting and stuffing those lovelies. There is a designated space for everything now.The system works well in the pantry, as I am sure it will in the refrigerator. After all, it is just a big cupboard for cold things, right? Each vegetable now has it's own happy little home, and to save confusion, I am just going to keep all of the containers in their spot filled with food or not.  We usually have the same types of veggies, so I think this will work out very well.

Tomorrow, I am going to make the salad for the week, and put it into one of  the largest containers as recommended on a YouTube video. A reliable source right? So much better than filling Ziploc bags with salad, and  having them get all squishy in the drawers.  It is amazing how an entire shelf of dairy fit into the crisper drawer with room to spare. It will be so easy to reach in and just pick what I need, instead of shuffling things off of other things. No matter how often you organize the refrigerator, what you need always seems to be under or hiding behind something else.  When I use the lettuce from the square container tomorrow, I will have a large space to store the round containers of  leftovers in one spot, next to the egg bin. (the white container, top shelf, right)That will allow free access to the drink shelf, that now has leftovers in front of the juices. 

One of my crisper drawers now holds all of the dairy products with tons of room to spare and the other has citrus fruits and apples. A big no no in the fruit and veg world but no problems so far, and I have been doing it for years. The meat and cheese drawer needs a makeover, but there is time for that tomorrow.  There is a large ham hiding behind on the bottom shelf, but it will be gone on Saturday, or at least shuffled into a tidier package. No need to have access to it, until Friday, so all is well.  That fruit drawer could use a bit of work, too, coulnd't it?

I was inspired to create in the kitchen, so now the whole house smells of cabbage rolls! They are all tucked away in a glass dish ready to put into the freezer in the morning, ready for our company at the end of the week. There is a fair bit of meat in them, so keeping them out for over five days  wouldn't work. So, they will be ready to thaw and serve on whatever day we decide to use them.  All of my groceries are purchased and tucked away for the week, so all that is left to do is to pick up is some Brussels sprouts and asparagus for my darling son, as well as some sliced sandwich meet for lunches over the weekend. Finding gluten free salami is quite the challenge, but I will have time this week to shop at a leisurely pace...perhaps after my doctors appointment when I am dressed and out! That will give me a little more time to focus on the projects I have planned for the week.

Deep cleaning is scheduled for tomorrow.  Top of the list is my closet and drawers...yet again.  I want to sort out the clothes for our trip to Mexico and have them washed and ironed, ready to go before November sneaks up on us far too quickly each year! I also need to go through my winter things to see what can be salvaged for the coming season. The focus is on the Master Bed and Bath this week, so a good clean out of the vanity in the bathroom is in order as well. Since changing to Lily products for my skin, I have very little clutter. A few products take care of me very well, and best of all? They fit compactly into one bag for easy packing!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Menu Plan for September 30 to October 6

Oriental meatballs with orange sauce and vegetables on rice, simple tossed salad,pumpkin pudding  (pie without the crust, but with a dab of whipped cream of course! I am not a saint!) Too busy fooling with Tupperware to make a dessert, but in my defense? The meal was satisfying on it's own! I live to bake another day....

Salmon and baked home made "fries"

Oven roasted chicken breast with homemade cranberry sauce (made on Sunday) mashed potatoes and green peas & carrots

Homemade Leek and Potato Soup (made on Saturday, of last week) with GF Bread (time to try out those GF mixes I have stashed in the pantry!)

Meeting night: Grilled Cheese, tossed salad,  Jell-0 for dessert - same fare for late homecoming travelers

Friday  Family Dinner
Ham with Hot Mustard Sauce,  Scalloped Potatoes, Vegetable Medley
(A steak for the beef eater!)
a "fancy" store bought dessert for our girls!

Cabbage rolls and leftovers, with a can o'beans to stretch it, if need be!

I have been asked what we eat for breakfast and lunches.  Here is the simple answer!

At the beginning of the week, I like to prep as much as I can ahead to make salad for every meal as well as for easy lunches. For two old people, we go through an incredible amount of lettuce and fresh veggies.  Now that the man has his taste back, I am so enjoying the plethora of flavours in the produce department! Salad around here is defined as a mixture of various vegetables, or sometimes just one! If it is a meal? We add a bit of protein.  For instance, a chopped lettuce salad becomes a meal if you add a drained tin of red salmon .  If you make an oriental dressing, a few bits of roast beef or some quickly thawed shrimp makes a nice addition. Just about anything can be used to tart up the humble veggies for a very low "calorie cost".  As for portion control? It is the dressings you have to worry about, and I get around the need for "lots" by watering down the creamy store boughts with a bit of milk or vinegar, to make it stretch.  It halves the calories. The low fat versions aren't good for me, since they contain more sugars - taste has to come from somewhere!  I also like to use leftover vegetables or kidney beans  in my salads, since I firmly believe that  a vegetable only deserves to be cooked once. Reheating would mean another dirty dish, and that just isn't what I am all about, is it?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It was a dark and dreary night...

So how happy we were to wake up to the sun this morning!  The new blackout curtains are really doing the trick, so it is really nice to wake up well rested. I had no idea light could affect one's sleeping to that extent.  Better late than never, right?

This morning, I have all of the drawers out of the lower cupboards, ready for the helpers to clean out the corners. What a confusion! While they are doing that, I will organize and clean the bins before sliding them back into position. I had difficulty finding these wonderful things...made by Rubbermaid.  They have stood the test of time. We installed them in 1996, and they really make the bottom cupboards function well. With a pull you can reach whatever is lurking in the depths...if you don't have real drawers, these are the next best things, for sure.  So, the morning will be spent tidying, cleaning and generally organizing to the point where we won't be able to find a thing! LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Here is my nasty freezer.  I just cleaned it out a couple of weeks ago, but it only takes one 'hubby search' to displace every single item. My gluten free foods account for a lot of the bits and pieces I found tossed thither and yon. Now they are all in three containers. One for a mix of  buns and bagels, one for sweet things like donuts and another for waffles. It takes me quite awhile to work through a whole package of anything, and all I have to do now?  Is to buy only items for which I have room!

And I am doing a happy Tupperware dance!  I think my favourite part is knowing that having ice in a drink isn't going to take five minutes of shuffling to extricate the ice trays, not to mention the balancing act required to replace them!  The freezer has been transformed. It was a much easier job in than I anticipated!  Who knew that all of that stuff could be contained so easily?  The door holds one package of frozen cranberries, three pounds of butter and an unopened bag of stir fry vegetables.  And space!Lots of space! 

The bottom drawer holds our portions of meat that we package in vacuum pack bags and bread that will be likely used within a couple of days.  It is hard to believe that the jumble will be  never more!  I am relieved that we can keep  the selection of foods that we like, without the disappointment of finding freezer burn when we eventually try to use it. Oh happy day!  This has spurred me on to continue with the upper part of the the back of my mind of course, is the knowledge that Lady Amana is on her last legs, being well over sixteen years old. At least, she will go out in style, well groomed and organized!  I think these containers would be useful no matter how the refrigerator is configured.  That is my story and I am sticking to it!  I have room for more of the 'medium 1' size, which would be perfect to store one pound of hamburger.  At present, we portion out a huge amount from Costco into small freezer bags, but it would be so much easier to put the container on the scale, measure out the meat and pop the lid on. Ah....something to watch for in the sales on the Tupperware site!  Now it just remains to cut the instructions from the bags of fish, shrimp to tuck into the containers. I KNOW I will forget how long to cook those salmon fillets!

I just happened to notice that there is  a terrific sale on the FridgeMates on my Tupperware lady's site, so I  ordered a couple of sets to transform the vegetable portion of my fridge - sure can't beat the value this week, can you?  A suggestion on one of the videos was to keep the odds and sods of condiments, etc. in the produce drawers to make room for these little beauties.  DONE!  One more interesting suggestion, from another video, was to use the largest container to make salad for a week, so you don't have to go through a big rigmarole to get a few fresh veggies on the table! LOVED that suggestion, because, when it comes to my lunches, I often skip them out of sheer laziness!  Hope springs eternal in the colourful world of Tupper.....

If you have a minute, check out this video for these marvels of modern science at work!

Canada Start Smart

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Is coming!  It may not be here right now, but the day is coming where I will be able to get out my new leather jacket and wear it comfortably! So far, in my winter wardrobe, I have one pair of INC pants that fit like a dream...or at least they did last year! Two leather jackets and a plethora of dresses. I won't have to purchase any dress clothes, but I will need a few outfits for every day shopping trips and the like. I have a fall coat that I bought last year, as well as a good winter coat and a new quilted jacket for shopping trips. What I do need (and I use that word lightly, having literally shelves full of purses in storage) is a good bag.  I really do have a thing for purses, and alhtough I rarely go back after buying and tiring of them, I can't seem to get rid of them easily. The styles seem to change just enough to make me want new, but I always think I will use the retired bags sometime in the future. So far? Not working out that way. So, one day, I just may go to that closet with a huge box, and discard all but the few that are my favourites. It seems like a shame, but there it is. You have to use a bag for awhile to see if it works for you, and it seems that my favourite style is a barrel bag, with no center pocket. Center pockets drive me out of my mind!  I  bought my first barrel bag thirty years ago, and literally wore it out. I bought one about eight years ago, and now it is on its last legs. So, the rule will be from now on in, ONLY BUY A BARREL BAG!!!  I have tried totes, clutches, small bags, large bags, cross body bags, you name it. But I always seem to go back to the simple black barrel bag. So now, I am in the market for a new one! Of course, I may buy a purple one this year....

So in the interest of just being curious, please answer "What is your favourite bag, and why?" 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Found something really good at the grocery store today!

That is absolutely life changing for me, but may sound ridiculously simple to you!  In the freezer section, in two flavours - regular and onion flavoured - were potato patties by McCain that had no gluten and 130 calories each, the exact number that is in my gluten free bread! So, in the morning? I can now have a change of pace, and eat one of these little beauties with my egg plus save the "cost" of calories for the butter for my toast! Now, big excitement? YES. Whenever I find a delish food that I can eat, it is an incredibly big deal, especially if I don't have to spend a fortune for it being gluten free!  Life is a series of small blessings, isn't it?

Nutrition Facts
Valeur nutritive

Per 1 patty (68 g) / par 1 galette (68 g)

% Daily Value
% valeur quotidienne
Calories / Calories 130
Fat / Lipides 6.5 g10%
  • Saturated / saturés 1 g
  • + Trans / trans 0 g
Polyunsaturated / Polyunsaturated 2.5 g
Omega-6 / Omega-6 1 g
Omega-3 / Omega-3 0.3 g
Monounsaturated / Monounsaturated 2.5 g
Cholesterol / Cholestérol 0 mg
Sodium / Sodium 200 mg8%
Potassium / Potassium 150 mg4%
Carbohydrate / Glucides 17 g6%
Fibre / Fibres 1 g
Sugars / Sucres 1 g
Protein / Protéines 1 g
Vitamin A / Vitamine A 0%
Vitamin C / Vitamine C 6%
Calcium / Calcium 0%
Iron / Fer 4%

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just do it....

How easy is that advice to read?  How many things do you know how to do, but don't? Sometimes I think this information age isn't all it is cracked up to be...we all know how to be perfect in form and deed, yet do we do it ?  We might need an action age next, don't you think?

Like salmon, we must like to swim against the current! We are all so good at it! There is something in us that lets our hands dip into the chip bowl three or ten  too many times, and that little voice that tells us that it really isn't convenient to attend to our nails every day, so we will just skip it for now...... Hey, maybe it is stupidity? Laziness? All those qualities that aren't that flattering and so easily applied!  The trick is to make it our habit to do good things for ourselves. Build a solid routine of simple actions that make huge differences in our lives.

Good personal care, good diet, good movement, not necessarily of the bizarre, frenzied "Sweating to the Oldies" variety, but just plain old moving our body in fresh air. Definition of aerobic.  I know that since I simplified all of my routines, I have been doing a lot better in a lot of ways. I still have miles to go before I sleep, but the hardest part of a journey is the first step.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adventures in Tupperland

So, I have done it again. Every once in awhile, I do go overboard. I might of made just a little splash on Monday night.

It wasn't my fault. There is something so compelling about the smell of the plastic, the glowing colours and the promise of sublime Martha-ness with every snap of a lid. It makes a room full of women reach mindlessly for their purses can not fight it. It is totally irresistible.  To this woman in particular.  I willingly, albeit eagerly, surrendered a sizable portion of the checking account to my friendly, informative pusher er, Tupperware representative. Sigh.

Dreams of a perfectly ordered freezer materialized as she extolled the virtues of the plastic.  I resisted.  I placated myself with a nice little storage set for the frig....they stack, you know. And it was two sets for the price of one! That means I could give one to my dear daughter in law, and we would both be well on the way to super efficient home cold storage.Why, the two cup container would be just perfect to corral those sweet snap peas, and the four cup? And who doesn't have cherry tomatoes to stow away every grocery day? Of course, I needed the small pickle keeper to stow away those refrigerator pickles that by their sheer homemadeness deserve a home more fitting than a mixing bowl with a tatty bit of saran on the top! It even has a great is a Pick-a-deli. Not a  glass mason jar, or a used margarine container....nope. This is pure class with its own moniker, not used by any other item of it's ilk. So smart...and coordinates perfectly with the stackable sandwich meat keeper. Imagine! Three levels of deli meat easily procured in one fell swoop from the depths of the Amana. The fact that we only buy one variety at a time just didn't seem important when I saw how the one lid topped three, count them, three levels of storage. Sigh. Maybe weak is an understatement.

I admit it. I am a weak woman when confronted with coloured bits of plastic promising more than the last wrinkle cream I bought. Hopefully, though, I will also be one with a super organized refrigerator, come two weeks or so, when the goodies are delivered! 

 In my defence, or rather in defense of my frivolity, years ago, I outfitted  all of my kitchen cupboards with modular mates. Every day I bless those lovely containers! I bought enough of them to contain every single product in my kitchen, from the smallest bit of spice to a bin to hold the jumbo sized box of cereal. They make my life so easy, and I literally have not had to clean the pantry from top to bottom since.  I simply take out the containers, wipe the shelves and replace them. I always know where to find something. Each time I use something, I make sure to put it back in its spot in the cupboard, wiped clean. The sticker shock of that little project has kept me away from Tupperware for quite a few years.  In a moment of weakness I decided that I could handle just one Tupperware party.....but as I know now, for an addict? One container is too many and a hundred is not enough.....

WELL, as I learned,  they have a similar product for the freezer. I know this will be the first purchase until every single frozen item is encased in flexible plastic, with purplicious lids. Of course, there are little snowflakes and a fill line to remind me not to overfill, to maintain maximum freshness. And such wizardry of design to allow maximum airflow between the containers. And who could resist the special for party goers only? A lovely set of ice cube trays that will not lose all of their water on the long trek from sink to the freezer....I HAD to order them, didn't I?  In the grand scheme of things, I am sure I am a minor player in the great Tupper game of life. I just can't tell you how exciting it will be to get rid of all the twist tie bags of frozen peas and half bags of shrimp! Imagine not having to fight with forty three bags to find the peas! Ah yes. Tupper dreams........ 


Menu Plan - better late than never!

As you noticed by my absence, things haven't been running too smoothly or according to plan around here. However, I do find that I have had time to sit and plan the menu for the coming week.  It helps that I found a couple of recipes online that I am ready to try, that sound quick, easy and a little different PLUS they use what I have on hand in the house!
Wednesday August 29

Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Thursday August 30

Dinner Out

Friday August 31

*Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken & Salad


Saturday September 1

Greek Salad with Chicken

Sunday September 2

Fruit Blintzs
(Made with home made stewed Italian Plums)
Monday September 3
Frig Gleanings Salad
Cucumber Pickles

Tuesday September 4

Out of Town

1.       Cottage cheese & strawberries, pepperoni sticks
2.     Egg salad sandwiches
3.     Veggies and dip
4.     Canned beans
5.     Avocado toasts
6.     salad
*Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken
- this is a slow cooker recipe, but I am going to use my LeCrueset oval roaster in a slow oven
  • Prep Time : 10 min
  • Cook Time : 5-6 hours min
  • Ready Time : 15 min


4-6 Servings


  • 4-6 pounds roasting chicken
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 sweet potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika


Place the onion in the cavity of the chicken and rub the skin with the oil. Place chicken in the slow cooker. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken and sprinkle with remaining seasonings. Add sweet potato halves. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours or on HIGH 4-5 hours.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mani Pedi day!

Oh the pure joy of it!  How I do love getting pampered! I have found a good salon, that isn't extremely pricey - a real salon with privacy!  It was a very good experience. I was in the salon for two and a half hours, so yes, I really did get my money's worth!  Next on the agenda is a brow wax. Just may go for a polish change at the same time, once this stuff chips. Nice dark 40's red...gotta love that red polish on the old fingers!  See? 

 And LOOK! I have another one  just like it! And ten toes, too!

On the 'face front', I am in the midst of another skin care line trial, and so far so good. If it works, I will write more, but so far? I feel the calming effects, and I must say, so far it does feel like a good thing!

Cleaning day tomorrow, so must tidy up in the morning. I always swore I would never clean before cleaners came, but I guess some things are just meant to be taken back once you send the words out into the universe.  There are certain things I like to be put away, so they don't have to fuss with moving things - spend all of your time polishing and vacuuming, ladies!  LOL This is such a joy. Who knew that getting old would have such perks? My  number one perk was actually having nails to take to a salon to get worked on! Usually, one hard day of scrubbing and I am back to stumps.  I love having lady of leisure hands!   Years ago, I  invested in good rubber gloves...time to use them!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why oh why....

do things have to wear out and be replaced? Couldn't they just make life easier by letting you choose one set of appliances at the beginning of your life, and just let you keep living with them till the urge to cook has completely left your old frail body?

They compound the insult by adding features that as soon as you see them,  just gotta have them...that leaves me wondering if I really need a convection oven at this stage of my life. When we retire, will we not have time to allow the cook time an extra 25%? Where am I in a rush to go these days?  To warm up a can of soup on a cold winter's night, or roast a bird or two on a Sunday, do I really need the deluxe model? Well, turns out I do. I NEED  those industrial metal knobs with exotic red, heat resistant indicators set perfectly into the steel. 

Well, then there is that new type of lighting in the frig. I NEED the LED lights. I do.  How can I say no to a frig with lighting like the special effects on a StarTrek set? They promise me such easy visibility of soon to expire fruit, veg and dairy products. Why, to not purchase such a frig would be insane. I would be condemning myself willfully to a life of poor nutrition. Yep. Add that to the bill.

That leaves the dishwasher. Of course, we NEED to be able to configure the interior to deal with the  huge serving platters (that have a special place in the refrigerator for just such occasions) and other detritus from our huge cocktail parties....that we never have, but just might if we had such an easy way to clean the platters after the guests have left. 

The thing is, buying stuff for your real life, isn't nearly as exciting as buying into all of the possible lifestyle activities that are promised in an appliance showroom!  So, once again, we made our way home to our old reliable kitchen, where I made guacamole and taco chips for our supper. With a  good stiff Mojito in hand? Those old white boxes in the kitchen are lookin' pretty darn good!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan for August 1 to August 7

I leave the choice of sides until the day of the meal, because you  just never know what needs to be eaten up in the refrigerator. I prefer to have something 'light on the side' with the 'heavy on the meat', meals and rely on cooked vegetables to give weight to the poultry and fish mains. Lately, I have been enjoying the simplicity of no more than two or three things on my plate, rather than complicating my meals with too many flavours.  Simple suits me best! 

In the summer, I like to keep a marinated salad or two in the refrigerator for quick meal prep. Nothing beats a good coleslaw, bean salad or refrigerator cucumber pickle!  When I am inspired to spend time in the kitchen, I like to pre-wash the lettuce I will need for the next couple of meals, especially if I have another pair of hands to help!  I tried to buy pre-made salads, but they just didn't cut it! What is that odd taste they have? And don't get me started on that stuff they pass off as coleslaw!

Wednesday August 1


(Freeze portions for two for future use)

(with fruit accents)


Thursday August 2


& Rice

(Stir Fry with Mushrooms, Peppers, Carrots & Onions)

Friday August 3

Barbecued Burgers


 Tomato Salad


Saturday August 4

Chicken Breasts

& Julia's Rice Salad

Sunday August 5

Fish & Potatoes
Hot Vegetable

Monday August 6

Hearty Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes

Creamed Corn

Tuesday August 7

(freeze one for future use)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New day dawning, but I won't see it because we now have blackout curtains!

We finally found some curtains for our bedroom  that will block the light. Hmmmm....after sixteen years, it is about time! The neighbours have a habit of turning their lights on in the middle of the night, and the light bounces from the window to the mirrored closet doors, to the mirror over the dresser, back to the closet doors...the result is a light show that would rouse the dead.

So tonight is the night we enjoy blissful darkness until our body tells us it is time to wake up not quite so early in the morning!  I am very pleased with the colour, as they were a complete impulse buy. They just reached out and said "HEY!!! I will match your toss cushions!" as I walked by. And they they did. A lovely pea green that matches the stripe in the cushions PERFECTLY!  I was debating whether to buy them or not and the man gave me a gentle nudge, and for once I listened. So, I guess the moral of my story is, polyester curtains may be a lot of things, but when they talk to you? Listen for they do not lie!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

If I could save time in a bottle...

maybe I wouldn't spill so much of it!  Where has the month gone?

While we were away, we were privileged to be guests at a lovely family outdoor dinner. The appetizer was absolutely wonderful, as was the whole meal, but the appetizer really was a star. In fact, it made a really good supper for me as soon as we came home yesterday!

Toast baguette slices as you would for bruschetta - drizzle with EVOO.  Dice avocado, drizzle and sprinkle  with lime juice, chili flakes and coarse salt. Place on toasted slices, and serve with more chili flakes, salt and oil to dress as desired. FABULOUS, easy, and oh so tasty on a hot summer's night.  Thanks to Sandee for being a gracious hostess and one of the best cooks I know.  Ah, the panacotta, the panacotta!  Soooo good!

While away, I found a new travelling dress. (on sale!) To test it,  I scrunched it up in my suitcase to fill in small space at the edge for the trip home.  Not carefully folded by any stretch of the imagination. When we arrived home, I pulled it out, and wore it immediately to go out for the evening to a lounge to listen to our friend's jazz band! Comfy, bright and cool. Dressed up or dressed down with flip flops, this will be a great item for travelling, summer or winter - easily be worn with a black jacket for warmth.  I also found an Indian cotton blouse, but the jury is out on that one... so far, I haven't found something to go with it other than my jeans and my white Capri's. Although initially, I had thought it would be a match to a turquoise skirt I have malingering in the closet, but it wasn't a good pairing at all.  Seems to be my way of doing things. Buy separates that will be just that for their lifetime...separate from every other article of clothing I own!  Ah well. Moving on...

Tomorrow will be a quiet day. My plan is to make plans for the following month. Menu plans. Cleaning plans.  Holiday plans. Travel plans.   The kids will be down for a visit mid month, and I am really looking forward to more time with them -  a fun thing at the top of the list is a shopping to refill the goody basket in the closet for our dear baby girl's visit!  She is absolutely precious about the stash she finds when she visits. She has been taught not to 'ask', but the first thing we do after our big hugs is explore Gramma's closet! She takes one gift a day, and is quite content to wait to open the others. She must have her mother's self control, because I know for a fact, I still could not be that patient if I saw those presents waiting for me!  It takes so little to make her happy...a story book, a sticker book, balloons, bubbles - that sort of thing. And of course, the little girly clothes are not to be resisted. She is growing up so fast...either that, or  I am growing old too fast. Either way, time is precious, and I do wish I could save it in a bottle!