Secret Single Behavior

If I didn’t have a child (cannot even imagine such a thing), I would spend nowhere near the amount of money I spend on groceries every week/month. I cannot believe what two people eat, especially two rather small people. 

I would go back to my weird habits of eating chips and salsa for dinner, or cereal, or…cookies and milk. 

The child wanted pizza tonight, so I did a little experiment for my own dinner. I had two slices of ham that I cut into triangles. I layered two in muffin cups that had been sprayed with non-stick spray. 

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I cracked one egg into each cup. I added chopped red peppers, shredded cheese, and scallions. 

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Next time, I think adding some thyme or crushed red pepper would be good. I cooked them at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes (13 mins., back in for 3 mins., back in for 2 mins.). 

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After they were finished, I sprinkled them with a little kosher salt and black pepper. I ate one. Then two. And the last two snicker doodles. 

THEY’RE GONE! Woohoo! 

So, I Could Have Done That

How many snicker doodles are too many? Say six, because I ate five.

I didn’t start with five. I started with two. And then I ate them. And then I went back for two more and realized how stupid that was, and grabbed a third. They’re so good. They’re also really easy. I always think I’ve forgotten an ingredient. You have to let them cool completely or they will just crumble. (That was completely not on purpose).

I should, instead, be working out. But…no. I did help a friend move today. It was so heartwarming and just what I needed. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself. Next thing I knew, I was in my car driving to the meeting place for a little brigade. It was a completely selfish act to make me feel better, and it worked. There was a lot of love there.

For dinner, I made pork tenderloin. I could have just made a little something for my daughter, and eaten chips and salsa standing up at the counter. But I didn’t. Tenderloin was thawed, and it is always delicious. I brown it in honey and butter on medium heat, then I finish cooking it in a 375 degree oven.

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I remove the tenderloin and add hot water from my kettle to the pan to loosen the browned bits. I reduce the sauce and pour it over the tenderloin. And tonight, I made mashed potatoes. Only two items, but it was plenty.  Image

My daughter said, “I love this honey chicken.” I could have corrected her, but…no.

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I could also throw the rest of these away.

The Day

Today was a GREAT day. That doesn’t even cover it. Fantabulosonificent. Something like that. And I really don’t even know why. It just felt great. Dammit. *note to self: by a thesaurus*

My daughter had spaghetti for dinner last night, plain with butter and cheese. After dinner she said, “Can we have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tomorrow?” So we did.

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I moistened nearly a cup of gluten free breads crumbs. I put 1 lb. of ground beef in a large bowl with one egg, 2 T chopped parsley, shredded cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, then mixed. I added the bread crumbs and mixed all together. I heated 1 T olive oil in a skillet and heated the meatballs on all sides. Removed the meatballs and added diced tomatoes in a basil, garlic, oregano seasoning. I had frozen tomato paste and heated it as well. I filled the can of diced tomatoes half-way with water and added that to the pan. I added the meatballs back to the skillet and covered with foil, on low, while I was making the spaghetti. And it was freaking delicious. And I’m giving horrible directions tonight. But I did it. Child asked. Child received. Meatballs for lunch.

Happy New Year

I’m not really one to make resolutions. I don’t know why. I can usually think of a list of things to add to a list, but I just really like making lists…. Maybe one resolution could be Do not make too many lists, or more realistically Make prettier lists.

With the impending birthday, there are lots of things that come to mind that I could try to resolve. For one, I’m terrible at making decisions. I have no idea why. I’m a Capricorn/only child. I don’t have a favorite anything. I usually end up with shopper’s remorse (WHY DIDN’T I BUY THAT?!). Naming my child was the biggest decision I have ever made. So another could be Learn to make a decision and stick with it.

My mother would like for me to make a resolution to fall in love. Let’s move on.

I would like to Learn to sew.

I would like to finish my book I’ve been writing (for far too long), and start my next book. Write every day.

I want to be a more patient mommy. A more patient person. Be patient. (Again…Capricorn/only child/single mother.)

I want to be a better friend/daughter. Feel free to keep me honest. Be better.

I want to learn to be a better gluten free cook. Perhaps go raw for a few months. Eat less sugar. Be clean.

And I want to discover how I’m meant to spend the rest of my years. Find a purpose.

The other day, my friends and I instituted No Spend January. Less than twelve hours later, my vacuum cleaner broke, my Maintenance Required light lit up on James Spader (my vehicle), and my child came home with broken glasses (had to go buy Krazy Glue). Do not deprive oneself.

I hope this year is the most amazing yet, for myself and my child; and for you. And remember, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully.

5 Things You’d Take on a Deserted Island

As an only child, I can go days and days without speaking to another human. That never happens now that I am a single mom. And that’s fine. Today, my child woke from 12 hours of sleeping (which also never happens) and continued to jump and talk all the day long. I have to admit, it was awful. That famous question about the five things you’d take on a deserted island. As an only child, that sounds FREAKING AMAZING. I wouldn’t take a damned thing! That is the whole point: deserted. Nada. Just me and my thoughts; me sleeping, waking up WHEN I WANT TO WAKE. Oh man. Delightful.

But if I had to cave and pick something, one of those five things would be a pot to make soup in (on the off chance I can procure a fire). I love soup. I could live off of it. Throw any old thing in there. One of the best soups I ever made was for a second date. I had leftover chicken and little else. I found a can of chickpeas and a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry. And one lonely carton of chicken broth. I combined everything in a pot and, after I portioned our servings into bowls, I put a dollop of cottage cheese in the middle. My date was flabbergasted. “Why would you do that? What made you do that?” I think I said something really romantic like,  “Um…it is about to expire.” He informed me that he and his father are the only two people he’d ever known to put cottage cheese in their soup. And that soup was divine. I was proud of my little poor woman’s concoction.

Tonight, I made a soup that trumped that one. I amazed myself. It was from Emeril’s daughters’ gluten free cookbook. A type of tortilla soup with turkey and beans and veggies, it smelled just as good as it looked. It was light and filling. I paired it with their jalapeño cornbread. I forgot to set the timer, but grabbed it in time.

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I forgot to take an after pic, so I’ll do that tomorrow on Tumblr (because I’m having it for dinner tomorrow, too. And probably lunch.). This was before I added the broth and water.

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The top rack has two chicken breasts in a glass pan. I always make chicken and rice with edamame for my child and her friend. Well, I once tried to change it up a bit and it wasn’t well-received. So, now I stick to what is requested.

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This is the best gluten free cornbread I’ve ever had. Better than any store-bought mix. Made with a gluten free flour mix I blend and keep in the refrigerator, and corn meal, green onions, and jalapeños. The texture was perfect, and kept its taste even after dipping it in the soup. Lots left over, and years ago…I used to make cornbread in my cast iron and then eat it for dinner a few nights (and breakfast, and lunch…) with sour cream and heated salsa on top (I love salsa heated in the skillet).

And for dessert (since I made the apple/chocolate/walnut/cinnamon crisp thingy without the girls here and they weren’t too happy about that), I repeated this delicious creation. And I learned, if you refrigerate the leftovers and let a slice come to room temperature, all that brown sugar turns into a dreamy caramel sauce.

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Don’t Crowd the Mushrooms

It’s true. Julia was right. I like to make mine with bacon grease (Boar’s Head) and Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour. 

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I cooked steak in a skillet and then fried the mushrooms in it. I honestly can’t think of a better combination. Unless, of course, it’s edamame/corn/pickles. Heat frozen edamame and frozen corn with 2T of water. Once heated, add 1/2 cup of diced pickles (I used dill, but you could use sweet) and 1T of pickle juice. Delicious! What a treat. 

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Sweet potato fries might be the child’s favorite new side item. Every single time I make them (or fried/diced Yukon gold potatoes), she asks, “Are there more of these for me?” before she even starts eating them. 

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This is the first time in I couldn’t tell you how long that my sweet child hasn’t burst into tears at bedtime, telling me she’s starving. She has always eaten enough for three football players, and always asks for dessert after. I have been giving her apples at night hoping the fiber will fill her up; she didn’t even ask for dessert tonight. But I think the apples are making a real impact on her, wouldn’t you say? 

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Tastes Like Fall

Tastes Like Fall

I saw this on Pinterest. I stood up from the computer, walked into the kitchen, made it, and died. I got better. This is so tasty.

I had made pumpkin muffins to take to a football viewing party. (Is that what they’re even called?) I had some leftover pumpkin puree and this is just about the greatest way to blow through it.

1/3 cup pumpkin puree
half a frozen banana
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I make my own with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of ginger and nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. cloves)
a smoodge of honey (or a splursh, or a squiddgie–any fake S word will do)
enough almond milk to submerge (real S word) all the ingredients

My personal smoothie maker is the perfect size for this recipe, but I shared mine with a tiny person. You may or may not decide to do such craziness.

Enjoy!