A Truly Terrible Problem

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Blizzard_of_96_Snow_Drifts
 Picture courtesy of William Sutherland

I have lived through two blizzards in my lifetime. Both were in Pennsylvania and I thought both were super exciting! The first one was in 1993 and when I heard we were having a blizzard I was convinced that it would be as bad as the blizzards I had read about in the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was disappointed when my mom told me we wouldn’t have to run a clothesline to our garage/chicken coop so we would be able to feed the chickens during the storm.

It was a lot of snow, it was delightful going out to play in it, and we amused ourselves by keeping tabs on our neighbor’s Christmas lawn ornament which slowly disappeared under the accumulating snow.

After it finished snowing came the fun part: shoveling the snow. I remember helping a little, but the fun part came just as my dad finished shoveling off the front walkway. The snow was already starting to melt a little and a whole pile fell off the tin roof right on top of the spot he had just cleared! We were thankful that he wasn’t hurt!

The second blizzard came just a few years later. That winter there was quite a bit of weather. People don’t usually move during the winter, but we did that year. The weekend we moved was the only weekend we didn’t have some sort of Weather. There was SO much snow it was crazy. I remember watching the evening news with my family (part of our current events curriculum for school!) and seeing the news story that they were having snow removal problems. There was so much snow that they didn’t know what to do with it after they had plowed the roads. One of the ways they decided to get rid of some of the snow was to dump it in the river. It was amusing seeing the huge dump trucks dump their pile of snow over the side of the bridge.

For some reason the phrase Snow Removal Problem tickled my fancy and it soon became a catch phrase around our house. Someone said something goofy? Why, they had snow removal problems! Someone did something off the wall? They also had snow removal problems!

When we moved to Florida I revived my old catch phrase to some ribbing from my family. I thought it even more funny then–if you had snow removal problems in Florida they would have to be pretty large!

So how about you? Anyone you know have some snow removal problems?

Menu Plan Monday, April 14th!

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I completely missed posting a menu plan last week as we were all sick. We mostly ate a BRAT diet–Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Lots and lots of toast. The poor Princess is still coughing and yucky, but at least I’m back to cooking! I got better before the others and I can definitely say I don’t enjoy cooking for myself. After a smoothie and popcorn one night, eggs and potatoes another night, and broccoli and tomatoes another night I was bored!

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over at Celiac Family is eggs. I am quite fond of eggs and will eat them almost any way you can think of. My favorite boiled egg recipe is this broiled toast/English muffin version, but I am also fond of shirred eggs with potatoes. We usually have eggs for breakfast at least once a week.

Dinner from Sunday!

Dinner from Sunday!

Since the Princess has been so sick, we have been focused on passing her around and keeping her entertained so she doesn’t get bored or overheated and can work on healing. Not a whole lot of cooking going on, just some catching up on cleaning and laundry!

Sunday
Breakfast:
cereal (Have you ever seen this cereal? It’s awesome! [for cold cereal anyway.]), strawberries
Lunch: spiced salmon, potato salad, roasted asparagus, corn on the cob
Dinner: strawberry shortcake, pickled beets

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
5 Ingredient Detox Smoothie
Eggs
Paleo Cereal
Paleo Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes
Tacos (we never got to them before getting sick!) (I will probably try this Lentil/Quinoa Taco Filling
Tuna fish and apple salad
Cauliflower Alfredo with gluten-free noodles
Pizza, salad
Pink Panther Smoothie, popcorn
fish topped with potato chips and remoulade sauce, sweet potato fries, veggie
Leftovers!

For Easter Sunday we’re invited out. I will be bringing my mom’s favorite salad and maybe something else.

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

May I Introduce: My Brain

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Running a household, taking care of a Princess and a house can get confusing. If I don’t make lists I can easily get overwhelmed and just sit around staring into space forgetting important things I need to get done. So when I saw an idea to use a notebook as a running list I immediately knew that this would be my brain!

My Brain!

My Brain!

I first saw the idea of a list notebook on Organizing Junkie. First I decorated a regular sized notebook and used it regularly for quite some time. However, it got to be really large to carry around or grab on the go and the bigger the Princess got, I needed something smaller. I also realized the bigger the notebook, the more I tried to write down and the more I wrote down the more I tried to do. So after giving up on the idea for a few months, I found a smaller (3.5 by 5.5) notebook that worked much better.

Since it was smaller, I grabbed some post-it tabs to divide up the notebook into sections that I use frequently. I use my little notebook for a To-do list (usually a list of things that I HAVE to get done that day, plus some optional ones), a Shopping list (am I the only one who is always thinking of stuff I need from the store away from my regular shopping list?), and I added a list of things to do on the computer since I always seem to forget why I turned my desktop on once I actually get to sit down.

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Sometimes I turn over a new page for a new day, but sometimes I just keep adding on until it’s a new week. Sometimes I get fancy and highlight things when I’m done (especially if it’s a work list so that I can look back and make sure that I’ve done something), but sometimes I just cross it off.

I think my favorite part of this organizing tip is the fact that it’s so portable. It easily slips in my purse, rests next to my bed for those things I need to write down before I can sleep, and even travels to the grocery store to compare prices or write down stuff for next trip.

So what about you? Are you able to remember everything you need to do, or do you need a “helper” like this notebook?

Menu Plan Monday, March 31st!

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So, last week was Spring Break. I think I spent the whole week thinking up things to use up excess energy the Princess always has so that she would SLEEP. I do so hate fighting about sleep when everyone is tired. Good news: I succeeded to a point! I wore myself out in the process and had no extra thinking or even cooking time. Alas, I can’t even remember exactly what we ate, but I do remember sandwiches several times. I did have a plan, but it didn’t always jive with the wearing the Princess out plan! It’s back to school this week though and I have been cooking all weekend so we should eat better.

The theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap over Celiac Family is asparagus. We are certainly asparagus fans around here! We usually eat it simply steamed or grilled. I love throwing leftovers into scrambled eggs! The princess won’t eat the harder stems, but she does love the tips.
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I completely forgot to take pictures of food last week, so here’s a picture from the zoo of the Princess on a dragon! I spent the weekend making several things: ice cream with cookie dough, pickled beets, Breakfast cookies, cookies (which we never baked because we just like eating the dough), Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars, and roasting extra veggies to make the week easier. baking and cooking and roasting veggies, so hopefully that will cut back on actual work during the week.

Sunday
Breakfast:
Pancakes, grapefruit
coffee
Lunch: Veggie Burger (beef burger), roasted potatoes, beets, corn on the cob
Dinner: roasted broccoli, strawberries with vanilla coconut ice cream and chocolate sauce

Rest of the week:
Breakfast Choices:
5 Ingredient Detox Smoothie
Velvety Butternut Cinnamon Date Smoothie
Eggs
Paleo Cereal
Paleo Chocolate Breakfast Cookies
Pink Power Detox Smoothie (This is SO good!)

Dinner:
Breakfast for dinner: Vegan Gluten-free Waffles
Tacos (I will probably try this Lentil/Quinoa Taco Filling with Spicy Butternut Squash Nuggets (from Peas and Thank You, no longer available)
Beans with hot dogs for everyone else and some sort of veggies for me
Veggie Pot Pie with mashed potatoes instead of biscuits
Pizza, salad
Pink Panther Smoothie, popcorn
fish sticks, sweet potato fries, roasted veggies/canned peas
Leftovers!

For more menu ideas check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday! Or for gluten-free menus check out Celiac Family and the Gluten Free Menu Swap!

Portobello Steak

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Yummy!

Yummy!

I used to love steak. It doesn’t really bother me when others around me eat it as long as I have some that I think is just as tasty! This week I revamped my husband’s steak marinade and used it with some Portobello mushrooms. I thought they turned out lovely!

Portobello Steaks

 

The ingredients

The ingredients


2 Large Portobello mushrooms (organic preferred)
4 oz. pineapple juice
1/4 cup ketchup or gluten-free BBQ sauce
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 t garlic powder (or more to taste)
2 t liquid smoke (or more to taste)
Optional: Gluten Free Steak sauce if desired

Marinade

Marinade

Mix all the ingredients except the mushrooms in a shallow pan. Marinade the mushrooms in the shallow pan while you get the rest of dinner started or about 30 minutes, turning several times. Plug in your George Foreman or carry your mushrooms to your outside grill and grill until warmed through and smokey. Enjoy!

Things That I Collect!

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Have you ever noticed that once you tell people that you like a certain thing, you suddenly have a large collection without even trying? I’m not sure if I only mentioned to one person that I liked elephants or if it was several people, but suddenly it was the stuffed animal of choice for birthdays and Christmas.

You can’t keep everything, but even so I’ve managed to hang onto several of my favorite elephants (mostly stuffed–and only by hiding them out of the Princess’s reach!) and I thought I would introduce them!

They are from left to right: Esther, Edwina, Ellie, and Eliza. And of course Dumbo from when I visited Disney when I was 5. There were more elephants at one time, but I think they wandered off to explore the wide, wide world. There also used to be a mouse to keep them all in line, but I think the Princess got that one!

Also pictured below are two of my favorite figurine elephants given to me by my sister and mother/father. My sister gave me the ceramic one unpainted because she knew how much I liked to paint things. You will notice her toes aren’t painted red, but a respectable pink so she isn’t able to hide in any cherry trees. The other elephant traveled all the way from Kenya to be in my collection. I really like the picture on the side of it.

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So that’s it–my elephant collection. And no, I’m not still adding to my collection although I do still enjoy seeing elephants. What interesting collections have you hung onto through the years?

Simple Sugar Free Blueberry Syrup

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Blueberry Syrup over waffles

Blueberry Syrup over waffles

I love breakfast foods of all sorts. The problems I run into with waffles and pancakes is that I get bored of maple syrup quite easily. The other week I remembered this simple syrup that my mom used to make for pancakes and waffles when we had breakfast for dinner. It has a lovely taste and doesn’t have any sugar added! Hope you enjoy!

Blueberry Syrup

 
2 cups blueberries (frozen is fine!)
1/2 cup juice (grape preferred, but apple is great too.)
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t cinnamon
2 1/2 t cornstarch

Before being cooked!

Before being cooked!

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir until the blueberries are soft and the syrup is thick. Serve warm over pancakes, waffles, or french toast!

The finished product!

The finished product!